What Are “Lost Wages” in a Personal Injury Claim in Kentucky?

What Are “Lost Wages” in a Personal Injury Claim in Kentucky?A personal injury can be a life-altering event, not just physically, but also financially. In addition to medical bills and potential long-term care needs, lost wages due to your injuries can significantly affect your ability to make ends meet. The good news is that Kentucky personal injury law allows you to recover compensation for lost wages as part of your personal injury claim.

When your injury is caused by someone else’s negligence (carelessness or recklessness), you have the right to seek compensation for your losses, including lost wages. This compensation helps to replace the income you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured. The burden of proof lies with you, as the injured party, to demonstrate the connection between the accident, your injury, and the resulting lost wages.

Calculating lost wages

Calculation of lost wages can vary depending on your employment situation. However, here are some common scenarios:

  • Salaried employees: If you receive a fixed salary, your lost wages are typically calculated by multiplying your regular salary by the number of workdays you missed due to your injury.
  • Hourly employees: For hourly workers, lost wages are calculated by multiplying your hourly rate by the number of hours you would have ordinarily worked during the missed period.
  • Commission-based employees: Lost wages for commission-based employees can be more complicated. Determining these might involve calculating the average commission earned over a specific period before the injury and applying that average to the missed workdays. Our Kentucky personal injury attorneys can help with this process.

Types of lost wages/income recoverable

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of lost wages you can potentially recover in a Kentucky personal injury claim:

  • Base salary or hourly wages: This includes your regular pay for the time you missed work due to your injury and recovery.
  • Overtime pay: If you regularly worked overtime, you might be able to recover compensation for lost overtime pay.
  • Commissions: As mentioned earlier, commission-based employees can recover lost commissions.
  • Bonuses: If you were likely to receive a bonus based on your performance during the period you missed work, this might be included in your lost wage claim.
  • Vacation time and sick leave: If you used your paid vacation or sick leave days while recovering from your injury, you can seek compensation for those used days.
  • Fringe benefits: In some cases, the lost value of fringe benefits (health insurance, retirement contributions) can also be factored into your claim.

What evidence do I need to support my lost wages claim?

To effectively document your lost wages and strengthen your personal injury claim, you should gather the following evidence:

  • Pay stubs: Your pay stubs from the period before and (if applicable) after your injury serve as crucial proof of your regular earnings.
  • Employment records: These records might include your employment contract, salary history, and commission structure (if applicable).
  • Doctor’s notes: Medical records documenting your injury, treatment plan, and restrictions on your ability to work are essential evidence.
  • Work schedule: Providing your work schedule for the missed period helps calculate the number of days or hours of lost work.
  • Witness statements: Statements from your employer or colleagues can corroborate your typical work hours and earnings.

What factors might affect my lost wages compensation?

Several factors can influence the amount of compensation you receive for lost wages:

  • The severity of your injury: The greater the severity of your injury and the longer your recovery time, the higher the potential lost wage compensation.
  • Doctor’s restrictions: If your doctor restricts your ability to work entirely or limits your work hours, this strengthens your claim for lost wages.
  • Pre-existing conditions: The insurance company might try to argue that your lost wages stem from a pre-existing condition rather than the accident. It is important to have clear medical documentation linking your injury to the accident.
  • Your employment situation: The type of employment (salaried, hourly, commission) and your earning potential can affect the calculation of lost wages.

Here are some steps you can take to maximize your recovery for lost wages:

  • Keep detailed records: From the day of your accident, meticulously document everything related to your injury and lost wages. Maintain copies of pay stubs, doctor’s notes, work restrictions, and any communication with your employer regarding your absence.
  • Seek prompt medical attention: Getting timely medical care establishes a clear connection between your injury, the treatment required, and your inability to work.
  • Follow doctor’s orders: Adhere to your doctor’s treatment plan and restrictions. This demonstrates your commitment to healing and helps avoid arguments from the insurance company that you could have returned to work sooner if you had followed instructions.
  • Communicate with your employer: Keep your employer informed about your injury and anticipated return to work date. Document any communication with your employer regarding your missed work and potential light-duty options.
  • Explore light-duty options: If your doctor allows, explore any light-duty work options offered by your employer. While you might earn less during this period, it demonstrates your willingness to work and minimizes potential lost wage claims.
  • Consult with our Kentucky personal injury attorneys: At Wilt Injury Lawyers, our experienced personal injury attorneys can guide you through the process of calculating your lost wages, gathering evidence, and negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.

A personal injury can be a significant setback, but Kentucky law allows you to recover compensation for lost wages and other damages. By understanding your rights and taking proactive steps to document your losses and recovery process, you can strengthen your claim and secure the compensation you deserve. If you have any questions regarding lost wages and personal injury claims in Kentucky, reach out to our skilled personal injury lawyers for personalized guidance.

Lost income due to an injury can create a significant financial burden on top of the physical and emotional challenges you are likely facing after an accident. At Wilt Injury Lawyers, our Kentucky personal injury attorneys understand the long-term effects of lost wages and are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and explain your legal options. Call us or fill out our contact form to set up your free consultation. Wilt Injury Lawyers proudly serves clients throughout Kentucky and maintains offices in Lexington and Louisville.