How to File for Lost Wages After an Accident in Ohio | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC Hurt in a Car? Call KNR.
An often-overlooked financial loss associated with a personal injury are your lost and diminished wages.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
May 26, 2023

Depending on the circumstances, a car accident or another act of negligence can tremendously impact your life – physically and financially. You could be out of work for weeks or months.  But you’ll likely still face the same monthly expenses, staggering medical bills, and treatment costs.

Most people realize they’re entailed to compensation for their medical expenses. However, an often-overlooked financial loss associated with a personal injury that you can seek reimbursement for are your lost and diminished wages.

At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our injury lawyers want to know everything you can pursue. Let us explain and guide you through filing a claim in Ohio for lost wages after an accident.

What Are Your Lost Wages?

Your lost wages are any income or benefit you could not earn after an accident and the subsequent injuries you sustained.

When you’re involved in an accident that leaves you unable to work, you may encounter significant financial hardships due to this loss of income. In personal injury and work injury claims, lost wages are a form of compensation you can recover.

Lost Wages Means More Than Your Salary

While calculating the wages you would have earned had it not been for your injury is a significant part of a compensation claim, it is not the only way victims are financially impacted.

The financial losses associated with being injured may include:

  • Your Base Salary: This is your regular income, calculated as the wages you would have earned had you been able to work during your recovery period.
  • Overtime: If you regularly worked overtime before the accident and can provide documentation, you may be able to include lost overtime wages in your claim.
  • Bonuses & Commissions: If your income included bonuses or commissions, these may also be factored into your calculation.
  • Vacation & Sick Leave: If you were forced to use vacation or sick leave due to the accident, you might be able to recover the value of that time off as part of your lost wages.
  • Lost Promotion or Advancement Opportunities: If you can demonstrate that you were on track for a promotion or advancement before the accident, you may be able to claim the difference in income as part of your lost wages.
  • Diminished Earning Potential: If your injuries result in long-term or permanent disability, you may be entitled to compensation for future lost wages, also known as lost earning capacity. This represents the difference between what you would have earned had the accident not occurred.

Calculating Lost Wages After an Accident

Everyone’s financial well-being is different. Determining what someone may deserve as compensation for their lost income will depend on various factors, like your income level, the nature of your profession, length of recovery, and more.

Consider a scenario where you are a sales professional involved in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Due to your injuries, you cannot work for three months. After meeting with a lawyer, you will pursue a personal injury claim for your lost income. Here’s a potential breakdown of how your wages might be evaluated.

  • For instance, if your base salary is $60,000, you’d divide your salary by 12 and multiply it by the number of months you missed work. In this case, $60,000 / 12 x 3 = $15,000
  • Let’s assume you typically work 10 hours of overtime monthly, earning $50 per hour. You’d add what you lost (10 hours x $50) in overtime over three months for $1,500.
  • Finally, as a sales professional, you probably received regular commissions and quarterly bonuses totaling $5,000 based on your performance. Since you could not work, you missed out on this and may include that amount in your claim.

In this basic example, you may be entitled to $21,500 lost income. Additionally, if you were on track to be a sales manager with a higher base salary before the accident, you could add the difference in pay that the accident cost you.

To accurately assess your lost wages after an accident, it’s crucial to gather all necessary documentation and consult with a personal injury attorney who can help articulate your specific economic situation.

Including Lost Wages in Your Personal Injury Claim

Almost no one is set up to withstand the economic impact of a severe injury due to someone else’s recklessness. And Ohio law says you should not have to.  A personal injury claim aims to make you financially whole and restore you to the condition you enjoyed before the accident.

Here’s the best way to document your losses and file a claim for lost wages in Ohio.

First, Seek Medical Attention

The first and most crucial step is to seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. This will not only ensure your health and safety but will also serve as evidence for your claim. Be sure to keep detailed records of all medical treatment, diagnosis, and expenses related to the accident.

Consult an Attorney

Navigating the legal process while injured can be challenging, especially when you’re also out of work. It’s highly recommended that you consult a personal injury attorney experienced in lost wage claims in Ohio. They can help you understand your rights, gather necessary documentation, and represent your interests.

Gather Your Financial Documents

To support your lost wage claim, you will need to gather evidence and various documents, including:

  • Medical records: Include all bills, reports, and other documentation related to your injuries.
  • Employment records: Obtain a letter verifying your employment, job title, salary, and hours worked before the accident.
  • Tax returns: Provide copies of your most recent tax returns to establish your income history.
  • Pay stubs: Collect pay records from before and after the accident to show the difference in your income.
  • Witness statements: If applicable, gather reports from witnesses who can corroborate the circumstances of the accident and your lost wages.

Evaluate All the Wages You Lost

Calculating lost income from an injury can be complex, as it may involve not only your base salary but also bonuses, overtime, and other forms of compensation. You may also be entitled to future lost wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or limit your earning capacity. Your attorney can help you accurately assess your total lost wages and what the accident will cost you.

Send a Demand Letter & File Your Claim

Once you have all the necessary documentation and calculate all your lost wages, your attorney will submit a demand letter with the damages you’re seeking compensation for to the appropriate insurance company and help file your claim. The process and timeline for filing a personal injury claim may vary based on the liable parties involved, the degree of fault, and everyone’s willingness to negotiate and work toward a resolution in good faith.

In some cases, the insurance company or the attorneys representing the at-fault party may dispute the proposed compensation that your claim is seeking. Therefore, it’s essential to work with your attorney to ensure your claim is accurate, filed correctly, and within the required time frame.

Negotiate a Settlement or Go to Trial

After filing your claim, you may receive a settlement offer from the responsible party or their insurance company. Your attorney can help you evaluate the offer and determine if it adequately compensates you for your lost wages and other damages. If the settlement offer is insufficient, you may need to proceed to trial to seek fair compensation.

KNR for Can Help Recover Your Lost Income

Filing a lost wage claim after an accident in Ohio can be complex and time-consuming. There’s a lot to consider, and you must ensure you’re pursuing all the compensation you deserve.

Working with a personal injury lawyer increases your chances of successfully recovering all your lost income after an accident. They will handle the legal aspects of your case, collect the records, and evaluate what you need and what you’ll miss out on, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

At KNR, our Ohio personal injury lawyers have an extensive history and impressive record of securing compensation and justice for all the ways your life’s been negatively impacted by an act of negligence. Let our team review your case, discuss how your injuries affected your ability to earn a living, and guide you toward the best possible outcome.

Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation, and there are no fees unless you recover compensation.