In a personal injury case, an attorney will seek out compensation for medical bills and the impact the accident has had on you both physically and mentally. Another big part of any injury case is a loss of income due to your injuries. A loss of income can come in many forms, and you do not want to leave any aspect uncovered as you go through a personal injury case.
Consider six forms of income loss and how those losses may factor into a personal injury settlement or court case.
1. Loss of Work Hours & Pay
One of the more basic forms of income loss comes through a loss of regular work hours and pay. If you suffered from extreme injuries then you may have a complete loss of work. You may have to resign from your job.
Permanent injuries can prevent you from doing the same job performances. An attorney can calculate a full job loss based on your hourly wage or salary and the number of years you would have remained on the job until retirement.
However, a full job loss is not the only calculation to consider. Pain, injury recovery, and follow-up doctor appointments could result in less work hours. An attorney can account for the lost pay, even if you still remain at your job. Pay stubs from before and after the accident are the best indicators of pay loss and the first step to financial recovery.
2. Extra Income Factors
In some cases, your lost pay could include factors not present in traditional pay stubs. The holiday season is a key example, especially for retail-based jobs. Part of your income loss may include overtime pay for extra hours or holiday pay on key days. An attorney may look back at past tax returns or W2 forms to determine your total income amounts.
You could also receive written statements and complete work history information from your employer. The work history will supply a longer and detailed report, especially if you no longer have access to older pay stubs.
3. Income Bonuses & Raises
Along with holiday pay, a loss of a job could lead to a loss in annual bonuses or possible raises. You may have been on the fast track to an automatic raise or other increase in income. The extras may not reflect directly on your pay stub, but could be something your lawyer considers in a personal injury case.
Consistency is key with the bonuses and raises. If you have a received an annual bonus every year for the past five years, then a lawyer can use bank deposits and statements to showcase the pattern and how much you will miss out in the future.
4. Potential Job Growth & Training
Predicting the lost income of your future includes a lot of factors. Besides raises, you may have had potential job growth in the future. Some businesses offer job training ideal for promotions. You may have also sought out training on your own that impacts future employment.
For example, you could have been involved in college courses or online training classes. Injuries from a car accident may have prevented you from finishing the courses. Along with the fees for your courses, a lawyer can help calculate your future job potential and median salaries in the career you sought.
The estimate varies by state, location, and job title, but an estimate will help with your overall statement.
5. Supplemental Income
Your regular job may not be your only form of lost income. Many forms of supplemental income could count towards the compensation you seek. You may receive compensation for coaching or refereeing youth sports. You may sell products on the side, either in-person or through websites. You could sell vegetables at a farmer’s market.
All forms of supplemental income can make a difference on your settlement. If you lose time on your regular jobs, chances are you will lose out on your supplemental income. A lawyer will use any 1099 forms or other tax forms to showcase your supplemental income.
6. Family Jobs & House Contributions
If you live in a house with other family members, your personal injuries may impact the ability for others to work and contribute to the household. For example, if you used to drive a teenager to a job, the teenager may not have proper transportation to continue their job.
The result can lead to major changes in your home and the loss of income to help pay for bills. A lawyer can seek compensation for missing mortgage payments, late fees, and other direct impacts due to major changes in your household.
A deep dive into your finances will help determine financial losses and changes for you and your family.
For more information on personal injury cases, contact us at Garrison Law Firm. We can help break down all of your financial losses and seek the compensation you deserve for your pain and injuries.