Lost Wages After a Car Accident

When most people think of the damages available from a car accident, they generally think of medical expenses for treating injuries and vehicle repair or replacement costs. However, it is also possible for a car accident victim to obtain compensation for lost wages if his or her accident prevents him or her from working for an extended time. An experienced car accident lawyer can help a car accident victim estimate the total losses resulting from a car accident and hold the at-fault driver responsible for all the victim’s damages, including lost income.

Maximum Medical Recovery in a Car Accident Claim

When a plaintiff in a car accident claim suffered injuries, the term “maximum medical recovery” will often arise during the subsequent lawsuit. This term applies to the time it would take a victim to fully recover from his or her injuries. A person reaches maximum medical recovery when his or her injury cannot improve any further. A car accident victim may be unable to return to work until reaching maximum medical recovery, and the time it takes to reach this phase may be several months to a year or longer. In some cases, a plaintiff may reach maximum medical recovery but still be unable to return to work due to a permanent disability.

Calculating Lost Wages From a Car Accident Claim

If a car accident causes injuries severe enough to force a victim to miss work for any amount of time, the victim can claim compensation for wages lost during that time. For example, if a plaintiff’s injury prevented him or her from working for three full weeks, he or she could claim those three weeks worth of lost income as damages in the lawsuit.

When a victim’s injuries prevent him or her from returning to the same job or compel him or her to find a new, lower-paying job, the victim can claim compensation for the difference in income resulting from such a change. Ultimately, the defendant in a car accident claim is liable for any and all damages resulting from his or her actions, and this includes future lost income if the victim is unable to return to work in the future.

Calculating Lost Future Earning Potential

When a car accident leaves a victim unable to work at all in the future, in a vegetative state, or otherwise unable to return to his or her job, the victim’s attorney will likely refer to an expert witness with a professional background in economics or finance to help prove the full extent of a plaintiff’s lost earning potential. A plaintiff can effectively receive compensation for the wages he or she would have reasonably expected to earn in the future had the accident not occurred.

The possible compensation when it comes to lost future earning potential can be significant for some plaintiffs. For example, a younger driver in his or her 30s likely has 30 to 40 more years of working time left in his or her life, and suffering a catastrophic injury at this age could complicate his or her ability to maintain gainful employment in the future. The compensation for this individual would likely be much greater than a victim in his or her 50s with only ten or so years left of working years.

If you or a loved one recently had a car accident in Illinois that resulted in significant injuries, speak with a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine the kind of compensation you might secure from a successful lawsuit. Plaintiffs in car accident claims can win compensation for their medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost income. That lost income may only be a few weeks worth of wages or several years’ worth depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries and any permanent damage resulting from the incident.