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Calculating lost wages in a car accident claim

It is true that accidents do happen, but some accidents can be life impacting. A car accident can leave you with significant physical injuries that can be quite painful and take a long time to heal. These injuries, in turn, often force car accident victims to incur emotional pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. If the accident in question was caused by the negligence of another, then these damages may be recoverable through a personal injury lawsuit. However, before you can recover compensation for your injuries, you have to understand how damages are calculated.

Let’s look at lost wages as an example. To start, if you plan on seeking compensation for lost wages than you’ll have to prove that your injuries prevented you from working during a given period of time. A doctor’s note will typically suffice this requirement, but sometimes the issue isn’t clear-cut.

However, if you can show that your injuries knocked you out of work, then you’ll need to do some calculations to determine how much pay you missed out on. This may be as simple as calculating your missed hours and multiplying it by your hourly wage or conduct a similar calculation if you are paid a salary. Of course, you’ll need to provide evidence of your pay rate and your hours typically worked.

Car accident injuries don’t just limit one’s immediate ability to earn a wage, though. They can also decrease an individual’s long-term earning capacity. These types of damages are more challenging to calculate because they require a certain amount of speculation. However, factors such as an individual’s age, education and skills are taken into account. Here, strong legal arguments are needed to maximize the amount of recoverable compensation.

Before addressing the amount of recoverable compensation, though, a car accident victim has to prove liability. This isn’t always an easy task, either, which is why Michigan residents who have been injured in a car accident caused by another may want to discuss their situation with a skilled legal advocate who can help them develop a strong legal strategy aimed at reaching a favorable outcome.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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