In Texas, when you are injured in a wreck that was caused by someone who was not following the rules of the road, you are allowed to seek compensation for lost wages. To recover for these kind of losses, you have to prove that you lost wages as a result of the accident.
How can I prove lost wages?
One way to prove this is by giving the insurance company a work excuse letter from your doctor for each day you were not able to work due to wreck-related health reasons. You can then provide a statement from your employer describing how much money you would have made during that period. This includes any overtime that you may have earned.
What about sick or vacation time?
If you had to use sick or vacation time as a result of your wreck, you’re entitled to be compensated at your normal rate of pay.
What if I am self-employed?
This can be a little more tricky. If self-employed, some people use their business revenues for the year and compare what it was like before and after the wreck. However, sometimes business will have good and bad years. As a result, some people prefer to go to the previous year and develop a daily or hourly amount for compensation. They then apply that hourly or daily rate to the time you were off due to wreck-related health reasons.
What if I was not employed at the time of the wreck?
Although you are allowed to receive compensation for lost wages in these circumstances, it might be difficult to prove. You may want to talk with an attorney to discuss the possibility of recovering for lost earning capacity.
What if I can work but I cannot earn as much?
You are able to receive compensation for “lost earning capacity”. This occurs when you can work but your capacity is diminished. This happens when a wreck-related injury prevents you from performing a certain skill or type of work. For example, let us say that a person injures his back and now cannot stand for more than two hours in a day. Let’s also say that he is used to working as a real estate agent and made tons of commissions. Now, he is limited to a desk job that pays half as much. He can claim compensation for the diminished or lost earning capacity.
What about the future?
If you have a claim for lost wages or diminished earning capacity in the future the court requires expert testimony to provide extra proof for these types of losses. Please do not attempt to settle your claim until you talk to a lawyer.
In summary, auto wrecks can have major medical and financial implications. You may be entitled to recover for lost wages or lost earning capacity if you have been injured in a wreck that was not your fault. The Packard Law Firm takes auto wreck cases and has over 25 years of experience fighting insurance companies and big corporations to help our clients get fair compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.