No matter how safe a driver you are, the risk of getting into a car accident still remains. For people throughout New Mexico, car accident injuries make it difficult or even impossible to return to work. Of course, bill collectors don’t care if you’re injured, and medical expenses can quickly pile up.
Following is some helpful information about proving lost wages for the purposes of a personal injury lawsuit after an accident.
Lost wages: What are they exactly?
If you are injured in a car accident and unable to return to work — or if you can return to work but are unable to work full-time — then you can seek compensation for lost wages from the other driver or the driver’s insurance company. Lost wages may include funds that you would have collected from your job if the accident had not happened. Note: “lost wages” should not be confused with “lost earning capacity.” Personal injury cases involving motor vehicle accidents may involve both “lost earning capacity” and “lost wages.” Lost income typically involves money you lost prior to the lawsuit, while lost earning capacity typically involves loss of your ability to earn money in the future.
How you can prove lost wages
When you file a lawsuit and ask to be compensated for lost wages, the court will want to see several pieces of evidence. Often, one of the most important items is a note from your doctor saying that your injuries are so severe that you cannot go back to work or you cannot work full-time. You will also need to provide paystubs or other proof of prior income. It is also a good idea to submit a letter directly from your employer stating that you earn what you claim, and that your injuries are preventing you from coming back to work in full capacity.
Proving lost wages, no matter how much evidence you have, can still be difficult. The other party’s insurance company will not back down easily, so it is important to bring in an attorney experienced with lost wage cases.
For more on these matters, please see our Personal Injury FAQ.