Personal Injury and Loss of Income: Recovering Lost Wages
It's not uncommon for the victims of serious injuries to need to take time off from work, and in some cases, they may never be able to return to work. When a serious injury was caused by another person's negligence, there may be grounds for a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawsuit can help recover lost wages and medical expenses while holding the party at fault for the injury responsible for their negligence. For more information about your rights regarding personal injury and loss of income, contact the Orange County, CA law office of Sean M. Burke.
What Constitutes Lost Wages?
Lost wages are essentially money lost as a direct result of an accident or injury. When filing a personal injury case to recover lost wages, the victim's attorney must show the court that any lost wages were caused by the accident or injury. This means that if it weren't for the accident or injury, the victim would have made a certain amount of money from his or her job.
Loss of Earnings versus Loss of Earning Capacity
When calculating lost wages for in a personal injury lawsuit, two things may be considered: loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity. A loss of earnings is straightforward. This is the amount of income an injured person has lost due to an injury that prevented him or her from being able to work. A loss of earning capacity is a bit different, as it looks at the long-term loss of a person's ability to make a living for him or herself.
Proving Lost Wages
Depending on the circumstances, proving lost wages can be a simple matter, like when it is obvious that the injured party was not at fault and could not work. More often, it's not such a simple matter and the injured party will need to testify, along with other experts, to support the injured party's claims.
Experts may include medical professionals, workplace specialists, and economists. These experts are important because they explain the extent of injury, why a person with a particular injury would not be able to perform a certain job, and how much someone with the injured party's experience and education could expect to make over time in their field, respectively.
Because proving lost wages before a court can be difficult, it is important to seek out a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys work on behalf of their clients to obtain the optimum amount for lost wages and other damages, such as pain and suffering, when applicable.
Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke for Help with Your Case
If you or a loved one has lost wages due to an accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury case. You are encouraged to contact our team of personal injury attorneys to learn more about your legal rights. Our team is on hand to help you through the process of recovering lost wages so you or your loved one can move forward after a serious injury.