If a person causes you to be injured, you might be out of work for weeks or months while you recover. South Carolina’s personal injury laws allow injured victims to seek compensation for damages. Economic damages represent the financial losses incurred because of an accident or personal injury. Lost wages are included in economic damages. A South Carolina personal injury attorney can help you prove the amount of lost wages you should receive for a personal injury claim.
What Is Included in Lost Wages for a Personal Injury Claim?
Lost wages include any income you would have earned had you not been injured. Examples of lost wages include, but are not limited to:
- Hourly wages
- Overtime pay
- Part-time pay
- Freelance work
Lost wage claims can also include the sick days and vacation days you use as you recover from your accident. It could include benefits and perks you receive as part of your job.
How to Prove a Lost Wage Claim?
You must prove how much you would have earned if you had been able to work. Evidence that can help prove lost wages include copies of the following:
- W2 and 1099 statements
- Tax returns
- Income statements
- Pay stubs
You may need a statement from your employer confirming your rate of pay, average number of hours worked, typical overtime hours, and benefit information. You must also have medical evidence proving your injuries prevented you from working during the time you are claiming lost wages.
Future Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Potential
If your injuries result in a permanent impairment, you may be entitled to future lost wages if you cannot return to work. Diminished earning potential is the difference in what you could have earned had you not sustained an impairment less the amount you can earn with the impairment.
Future loss of income is challenging to predict. Often, attorneys work with medical specialists, vocational experts, and financial professionals. Expert witnesses use several factors to estimate future loss of income, including:
- Your age and general health
- Education, skills, and experience
- Job or career
- Rate of inflation
- Anticipated retirement age
- The level of your impairment
- The potential growth and outlook for your job or career
A person could lose millions over a lifetime if they cannot return to work after a personal injury. It is important to work with a lawyer to ensure you do not undervalue your loss of income now and in the future.
How Does Comparative Fault Impact a Lost Wage Claim After a Personal Injury?
South Carolina has a modified comparative fault law. If you are more than 51% to blame for causing your injury, you cannot receive any compensation for your damages.
However, if you are less than 51% at fault for causing your injuries, your damages are reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, if you are 25% to blame for causing a car accident, you would only receive 75% of your damages.
Comparative fault applies to all damages, including lost wages. If an insurance company tries to blame you for an accident or injury, call a lawyer immediately for help.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys
At Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, our legal team works to obtain the total value of your personal injury damages. Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators and seasoned trial attorneys. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation to discuss how we can help you with your personal injury claim.