How to Calculate Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Claim

ER Injury Attorneys
Calculate Lost Wages

After suffering injuries in an accident, time off work is often inevitable. Depending on the severity of your injuries, it is possible you might have to take considerable time off work. In extreme cases, such as a catastrophic injury or burn injury, injury victims might have to change their entire career. If you’ve been injured in an accident and have had to take time off work, you deserve to be compensated for those lost wages. Here, our Nevada personal injury attorneys explain how to calculate lost wages in an injury claim. 

Lost Earnings Capacity vs. Lost Wages in Nevada 

Lost earnings and lost wages are a portion of the damages, or compensation, that you are entitled to if your injury prevents you from working. Every state has different requirements for determining this amount, as well as the types of damages that can be awarded. 

Luckily, Nevada law allows for accident injury victims to recover damages for both lost earnings capacity and lost wages. The key difference is that lost earnings reflect the amount you’ve actually lost and lost earnings capacity refers to earnings potential. 

  • Lost earning capacity: the amount of money that you likely would have earned in your current job if you hadn’t been injured. This amount is hypothetical.
  • Lost wages: the actual amount of income lost as a result of the injury and taking time off work. These damages are quantifiable and are determined based on your actual income. Those who are self-employed or receive bonuses or commissions can use those amounts to calculate their lost wages. 

Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations on filing personal injury cases. It is vital to file your claim within that time frame as to not miss out on compensation. For severe injuries, it is possible that you will be out of work for more than two years. Even if you went back to work, you could have lost out on promotions and other opportunities for professional growth.

How to Calculate Lost Wages in Nevada

When filing a claim for lost wages, your personal injury attorney will need evidence of your income. Evidence needed includes: 

  • Payroll records
  • Income tax records
  • Medical records 
  • Doctor’s notes indicating the time taken off work
  • Bank statements

Lost wages are much easier to prove and calculate than lost earning capacity. Calculating lost earnings capacity is not as straightforward. This number can change over time based on a number of factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Potential retirement
  • Career field earning potential
  • Type of income, including salary, hourly, self-employment, or commission
  • Severity of injury 
  • Length of injury
  • Prior health issues

These factors, along with the required evidence, will be used in your personal injury case to calculate lost wages and lost earnings capacity. In order to prove your case, your attorney can call expert witnesses to testify. Possible witnesses include: 

  • Employers: both current and former employers can offer information about your earnings, work history, wage increases, promotions, etc. 
  • Doctors: any doctor or medical professional can provide medical records and test results to the court. This evidence will show how your injury has negatively impacted your health and prevented you from working, your future prognosis, and show how your health has deteriorated prior to the injury. 
  • Friends and family members: your friends and family can attest as to how you’ve altered your lifestyle because of the injury. 
  • Vocational experts: a vocational expert can prove how your injuries have impacted your ability to work in your chosen field. They will be able to detail why you can’t do your previous duties and what kind of care you’ll require before returning to the job, if possible.
  • Economists: an economist will provide the court information on employment and salary trends. They may provide insight on the average salary of someone in a comparable position over the span of a career. 

Contact ER Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in an accident and cannot work, ER Injury Attorneys can help. Every day, you suffer with your injury, you are losing out on income and compensation for other damages like pain and suffering. Don’t wait any longer; contact us today. Our legal team can help you calculate lost wages and lost earning capacity to get the compensation you deserve and will fight for you while you focus on recovery. 

Our experienced Nevada injury attorneys have helped clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Boulder City, and Pahrump seek justice after accidents caused by impaired drivers. For your free case consultation, contact us 24/7 by calling 702-878-7878, via LiveChat, or by filling out our contact form. If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer with a track record of winning great settlements and a reputation for treating clients with respect then give ER Injury Attorneys a call today.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.