If you have a personal injury claim, calculating your lost income is more complicated when you are self-employed. You may need to compile more documentation, from more sources, to establish how much money you would have made if not for the injury.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you secure the compensation it takes to make you whole– including lost wages. Helpful evidence can include tax documents, invoices, medical reports, and even calendars and correspondence.
What is Included in Lost Wages?
Lost wages, or lost income, include all compensation and benefits that you would have made if not for the accident. It can even include contracts, business opportunities, and your professional reputation– which were harmed by your inability to work. Discuss all of the above with your lawyer so that your income will be accounted for.
Documentation of Lost Wages
If you are an independent contractor for another entity, you may have an easier time than other self-employed individuals. If you receive an IRS Form 1099 from the entity for whom you work, this may be used to verify the wages you have earned in past years. However, if your work is prone to seasonal fluctuations, it may not provide enough information to convey your financial impact for the time of year in question.
If you cannot use tax returns, documents like invoices and receipts for work you did last year or over the past several years can show what your typical earnings look like. If this year was going to be different– perhaps you landed a breakthrough contract that was set to improve your business– your personal injury attorney will look at the available information like signed estimates and contracts to demonstrate this.
Correspondence and calendars
Letters from people or businesses you have worked for can provide evidence of your workload, wages, and what you missed because of the injury. Copies of your past calendars can also help show your work trends.
Doctors’ notes, bills, and reports are useful for verifying the extent and cause of your injury, as well as how long medical professionals expect it to impact your ability to work. Ideally, you will have returned to work before you settle your case or go to trial. If you have not yet returned, medical reports will be crucial in proving how long you will be unable to earn a living.
Calculate Your Losses Accurately to Receive Full Compensation
You have one chance to obtain full compensation; work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who will take into account all of your losses. At Rutter Mills, we look at your big picture so that none of your losses are overlooked. We are committed to fighting for full compensation for those who have been injured in eastern Virginia. Call today to schedule a free consultation with our offices in Norfolk or Newport News.
When you’ve been injured, you’ve got a lot at stake - but so does the insurance company. Walking into the court room with a serious lawyer makes all the difference. Watch our video to learn more about Rutter Mills. Your lawyer matters.
“Nothing makes you feel more vulnerable than being hurt or ill. And nobody likes to ask for help. But when you need it most, we’re at our best. We give our clients the confidence and support they need to know they’ll be taken care of – that they’ll get the best outcome possible, even in the face of a very bad situation.”
– Brother Rutter