After a car accident in Las Vegas, you may experience a significant decrease in income if your injuries prevent you from working. Catastrophic injuries can cause permanent impairments that prevent you from ever returning to work. You might be entitled to compensation for your loss of income from the party who caused the auto accident.
Even minor injuries can cause substantial economic damages. Hiring a skilled Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for your lost wages, non-economic costs, medical bills, and other damages.
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Lost Wages Can Be Part of a Las Vegas Car Accident Claim
Lost wages are considered a type of economic damage. Economic damages, in turn, are a type of compensatory damages. The party who caused your car crash can be financially liable for your monetary losses.
A loss of income claim includes any money you could have earned had it not been for the accident. Examples of lost wages in a car accident case include, but are not limited to:
- Hourly wages and salaries you would have earned if you had not needed to take time off during your recovery
- Overtime pay that you would have typically earned had you worked
- Commissions and bonuses
- Vacation and sick days you used while out of work because of car accident injuries
- Paid time off that you would have earned had you worked
- Contribution to retirement funds that you did not receive
- Merit raises, salary increases, and other pay raises that you were scheduled to receive had you been at work
- Income from self-employment, freelancing, or contract work
The goal of a personal injury case is to make you financially whole again by reimbursing you for the monetary losses caused by the auto accident. You have the burden of proving how much money you would have earned had you not been involved in a car accident.
Proving Lost Wage Claims After a Car Accident in Las Vegas
Nevada is an at-fault state for car accident claims. In other words, you must prove the other party caused your injuries before you can recover compensation for damages, including lost wages. Therefore, the first step is to prove the other driver caused the car accident.
After establishing liability for damages, you must prove that you could not work because of your injuries.
A statement from your doctor explaining how your injuries prevented you from performing your specific job duties is often sufficient to prove you could not work. However, if the insurance company challenges the diagnosis, you might need a specialist or medical expert to provide an opinion regarding your inability to work after a car accident.
Lastly, you must prove the value of your lost wages. First, you need to show that you missed work. A statement from your employer can prove that you were not at work for the period you included in your loss of income claim.
Then, you need to establish how much you would have earned. Copies of employment documents can prove what your income was before the car accident. Those documents include, but are not limited to:
- Paystubs and other pay statements
- W-2s and tax returns
- Letter from your employer
- Commission and bonus statements
- Statements showing retirement contributions
- Profit-and-loss statements for self-employed individuals
- A statement from your company outlining the policy for earning PTO, including vacation and sick time
The value of your lost wages is the actual amount you would have received had you been at work. Calculating the value of commissions, bonuses, self-employment, and other types of income can be challenging. A car accident lawyer understands how to calculate the costs to maximize the amount you receive for your personal injury claim.
Recovering Compensation for Reduced Earning Capacity and Future Lost Wages
If your auto accident results in permanent impairment or disability, you might not be able to return to work at all. Even if you can work, you might not have the ability to earn the same level of income you did before the accident.
Proving future lost wages and diminished earning potential can be tricky. You are estimating how much you would earn in the future if you did not sustain injuries in a car crash.
A financial expert examines numerous factors to calculate the value of a future lost wage claim. Factors to consider include:
- Your earning history
- Your job, career, skills, education, and experience
- Your age, overall health, and life expectancy
- The number of years you have to work until your anticipated retirement age
- The overall outlook for your career or job
- Your capacity to learn a new skill or trade
- Whether you can perform any type of work, including sedentary work
The insurance company may challenge your claim for future loss of income and diminished earning capacity. These claims can total millions of dollars, especially when the person is fully incapacitated and will never work again. A personal injury lawyer has resources and expert witnesses who can provide the financial and medical opinions to justify the value of your lost wage claim.
Does Contributory Fault Impact a Lost Wage Claim in Nevada?
Nevada’s comparative negligence statute states that your negligence for causing an injury does not bar your recovery of compensation. However, if you are partially to blame for the cause of the car accident, your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For instance, suppose you were texting while driving. The jury finds that you were 45% at fault for the cause of the car crash. Therefore, you could only recover 55% of your lost wages.
However, if you were 55% at fault for the car wreck, you would be barred from receiving any money for lost wages. The state bars recovery in a personal injury case if the victim is 51% or more at fault for the cause of their injury.
The Deadline to File a Lost Wages Claims After a Car Accident in Las Vegas
For most car accident claims, you have a two-year statute of limitations after the date of the car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you do not file the lawsuit before the end of the two years, you cannot pursue a legal claim against the party who caused the car wreck.
However, there are exceptions to the deadlines for filing a car accident lawsuit in Nevada. It is best to talk with a Las Vegas auto accident attorney as quickly as possible to avoid missing the deadline to file claims.
Contact Us for Your Free Consultation With a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer
Our legal team aggressively pursues all damages in your personal injury case. Call our law firm at (702) 570-9000 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, NV.