Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys 825 Nicollet Mall, Suite 615 Minneapolis, MN 55402 personal injury and car accident lawyer in Minneapolis

How Are Lost Wages Calculated?

How Are Lost Wages Calculated?

An accident victim may be out of work for an extended period while they heal from their injuries. Lost wages are part of your economic damages in a personal injury case. You can seek compensation for the money you would have earned had you not been injured.

Calculating lost wages can be challenging in some cases, especially if you sustain a permanent injury and will have a future loss of income. A Minnesota personal injury lawyer can assess and prove your lost wages to maximize your financial recovery.

What Is Included in Lost Wages in a Minnesota Personal Injury Case?

Wages include all income you would have earned had you not missed work due to your injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Salary
  • Hourly wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Part-time income
  • Bonuses
  • Freelance income
  • Commissions
  • Tips
  • Independent contractor income
  • Seasonable income
  • Gig work

Loss of income includes your loss of vacation time, paid time off, sick time, and the benefits you would have earned if you worked, such as matching retirement funds. You may also receive reimbursement for loss of business opportunities. 

What Is the Value of My Lost Wages?

Your lost wages are what you would have earned if you had worked from the day of your injury through your recovery date. Evidence used to determine pay includes W2 statements, tax returns, 1099s, income statements, and information your employer provides.

If you have a salaried position, we use your salary to determine how much you would have earned over a set period. However, fluctuating hourly wages and income complicate the calculations. Generally, we evaluate your income over a set period to calculate an average to determine what you would have received.

Your recovery period is typically calculated from the date of your injury through the date you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The date of MMI is when your doctor releases you from care.

Your doctor may release you when you are fully recovered. However, they might state that you sustained a permanent impairment and have reached the point when no further treatment is expected to improve your condition. If you have a permanent disability, you can seek compensation for future lost wages and decreased earning capacity.

Calculating the Value of Your Future Loss of Income

The type and severity of your impairment determine whether you can perform any work to earn income. You may be totally disabled, in which case you may seek compensation for future lost wages.

However, your impairment could restrict your ability to work. If you are unable to earn the money you did before your injury, you can seek compensation for diminished earning capacity.

The value of future loss of income depends on several factors, including but not limited to:

  • The type of work you did prior to the accident
  • How your impairment impacts your ability to work
  • Your education, skills, and experience
  • The forecasted rate of inflation
  • Your current age and the age you anticipate retiring
  • Your ability to learn a new skill or trade

Your future lost wages equal how much you would have earned had you been able to return to work after your accident. Diminished earning capacity is the difference between what you would have earned and what you will earn, given the limitations of your impairment.

Calculating future loss of income is complicated. A personal injury lawyer may hire several experts to assist in assessing the amount of income you lost due to your injuries. Medical specialists can testify regarding the type and severity of your impairments and how those impairments impact your ability to work.

A vocational expert may testify about the type of work you can perform, given your restrictions or limitations. Financial experts assist by projecting future income based on numerous economic factors.

Does My Shared Fault for an Accident Impact a Claim for Lost Wages in Minnesota?

Minnesota does not use a strict contributory fault standard that bars victims from receiving damages if they are partially to blame for the cause of their injuries. Instead, state law implements a comparative fault standard with a 51% bar.

If you are 51% or more to blame for causing your injuries, you cannot recover any compensation for your lost wages or other damages. However, if your level of fault is below that amount, you can receive a portion of your damages.

For example, a jury decides that you are 25% to blame for causing the car accident that resulted in your injuries. The court would reduce your damages by 25%, including your loss of income.

Insurance companies often use comparative negligence to reduce the amount they must pay for the claim. Suppose the insurance adjuster can get you to admit any detail that could be misinterpreted as fault. In that case, the company will try to argue that you contributed to the cause of your injuries.

Talk with a Minnesota personal injury attorney if you believe you could be partially to blame. You may not be at fault, but if you admit it to an adjuster before you consult an attorney, the company will use it against you. It is best to allow your attorney to communicate with the insurance company.

Injuries suffered in an accident or other incident can have devastating consequences for the victim and their family. If you were injured, you can talk with a Minneapolis personal injury lawyer about your case during a free consultation. The best way to protect your rights is to get advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your injury or accident.

Contact the Minnesota Personal Injury Law Firm of Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys For Help Today

For more information, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Minnesota, including Minneapolis, St. Cloud, and Edina.

We proudly serve Hennepin County, Stearns County, and its surrounding areas:

Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys – Minneapolis
825 Nicollet Mall, Suite 615
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(800) 292-1979

Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys – St. Cloud
1010 W St Germain St # 320
St Cloud, MN 56301
(320) 255-1000

Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys – Edina
5200 Willson Rd #203
Edina, MN 55424
(952) 697-5560

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