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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How Do I Make Up for Lost Wages Until I Get My Settlement? Staying Afloat

Car accident injuries and other incidents often impact a person's ability to work and earn money, some longer than others. The more significant the injury is, the longer a person may go without income due to missed work.

From self-employed workers to employees in large corporations, for wages lost, compensation is available, but it still leaves a difficult time in the interim. Between the loss of income and the piling medical bills, waiting for an insurance settlement is not always an option, so what can injured victims do in the meantime?

One of the most common questions from concerned victims dealing with a lost wages claim is, "How do I make up for lost wages until I get my settlement?". Depending on the situation, there are some options to consider. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will also explain exactly what is pain and suffering in a personal injury case.

What Are Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case?

What Are Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case?

In short, lost earnings in a personal injury refer to wages or other income that a person cannot earn due to an injury. They are claimed alongside medical expenses and other damages when the injury is caused by another party that is deemed to be liable.

Lost wages that result from a workplace injury are often covered by Workers' Compensation, which provides income support and medical benefits to those who qualify.

Lost Wages VS. Earning Capacity

There are two types of claims for income loss: wage loss and lost earning capacity. Wage loss refers to the actual income a person should have earned during the time they were injured. Lost earning capacity applies when a person's injury will have long-term impacts that mean they can no longer do the same job duties or earn the same amount of money.

How Is Lost Income Calculated?

Several elements go into proving lost income and calculating how much a person is owed. It is usually based on the hourly rate a person earns times the total hours of work missed.

Supporting documents such as a wage verification letter, invoices, and previous income slips are used to determine how much money the person would be making. Business records, tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements can also be used to help calculate lost wages. Normal overtime hours and lost perks may also be taken into account.

Who Do Accident Victims Seek Reimbursement From in a Lost Wages Claim?

In most cases, lost wages can only be claimed back if the accident was not the injured person's fault. Usually, they would claim damages from the other driver's insurance company (in a car accident), or a property owner (in a premises liability personal injury claim.

Some people may have Personal Injury Protection as part of their insurance policy, which pays out for lost wages even if the accident was the person's own fault- but it only applies to people who include this in their premium.

Usually, the goal is to settle through negotiations with the liable insurance company. If that doesn't work, the victim must file a personal injury lawsuit to claim lost wages and other damages through the court.

How Can Injured Victims Make Up Lost Wages While They Wait For a Settlement?

Waiting to recover compensation after victims claim for lost wages can feel like an eternity, especially if the person is under financial strain following their injury. Luckily, there are some ways a person can make up for lost wages after being injured due to someone else's negligence.

Use PTO, Vacation Days, and Sick Days and Include Them In the Claim

One option is to use as many paid days off as possible via your employer, meaning the number of days unpaid is limited. Depending on the person's job, they may be allowed a certain amount of time off for medical treatment and doctor-approved leave without losing any income.

If that is not enough, they may want to consider using their vacation days to secure further income while they cannot work.

Of course, this is not ideal, as a person should not be forced to use up all their time off because they were injured through no fault of their own. If they have no choice but to do so, they should include every lost vacation day or used time off in their settlement claim to recover the cost.

Take Out a Pre-Settlement Loan

Another way to cover financial losses such as income is to apply for a pre-settlement loan. This option is available in many cases- as long as there is sufficient evidence to show that someone else is liable and the chances of securing a settlement are high. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also have insight on what damages are available in a personal injury case.

Pre-settlement loans generally pay out a percentage of the expected settlement amount and are usually on a no-win, no-repayment basis. That is why they are only usually awarded to those who have a high chance of winning their claim. Some incidents where pre-settlement loans are viable options include:

  • Drunk driver car accidents

  • Broadside and rear-end motor vehicle collisions

  • Motorcycle accidents

  • Medical malpractice lawsuits

  • Wrongful death cases

  • Most car accident cases where the fault is clear

Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Speed Up the Settlement Process for Lost Wages?

Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Speed Up the Settlement Process for Lost Wages?

Between trying to prove lost wages and going through the negotiation process with the liable insurance company for the claim overall- it can take time to receive fair compensation. While a quality injury lawyer cannot guarantee a result quickly, they can ensure that things move promptly and smoothly with no mistakes or missed opportunities. They can also support with communications and applications for financial relief in the interim while their clients wait for their settlements.

Speak to Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Houston Today

Anyone involved in a car accident or any other incident in which injuries sustained leave them unable to earn should contact a leading Houston personal injury attorney at Schuerger Shunnarah. They go to far war clients to maximize settlements and minimize waiting times to help people stay afloat when disaster strikes.


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