Assume that the insurance company is not going to believe your claim for lost income so be prepared to prove everything.
If you received personal injuries and you work a 40 hour week, with no overtime, then the insurance carrier will want to see some proof from your employer of your salary such as a W-2, a pay stub or your tax returns. It is always a good idea to obtain other forms of documentary evidence that will help to support your claim for loss of income. You will also need to obtain something from your employer indicating how much time you lost from work including the dates and times.
Over time, sick time, and vacation time
If your injuries required you to take sick time or vacation time or if you lost over time you are entitled to collect monies for these losses. All of these have a value and you are entitled to be compensated for the loss of these values because of the negligence of the person in causing your personal injuries.
Trips to the doctor
If you have returned to work but have to take time off to visit healthcare professionals then you are entitled to be compensated for any time that you missed from work even if you are using sick time or vacation time. You should make sure that you clearly document the time you missed from work, including the hours missed, and show that these coincide with medical appointments that you had to attend as a result of your accident related injuries.
Unlike an employer employee situation where the calculation of lost income is much more straightforward, losing self-employed income is much more difficult to calculate. As a self-employed business person, you could be entitled to lost income, loss of earning capacity, lost profits, lost business opportunities, the loss of goodwill and the diminution in value to your company. It is your responsibility to lessen or mitigate your damages, to the extent possible.
Again, it is very important to be as detailed as possible in keeping accurate records. Make sure your doctor understands your physical limitation and how it affects your job so your doctor can place this information in your medical records to help support your lost income claim. You will also be asked to provide tax returns for approximately the last 3 years. Unfortunately, for many, this income history does not adequately explain your current situation or what your future may be. You may also want to prepare year-to-date financial statements that indicate your current financial position. You will need to present as much proof and evidence as possible to establish the losses that you are claiming.
If you are commission sales person and are out of work due to injuries sustained in an accident, it may be very difficult to prove what income you lost as a result of not being able to work. It would be difficult to prove what new orders you might have received, how many new clients or customers you would have gotten, and how much additional income you would have had.
You should make copies of your day planner showing what you are working on or who you were scheduled to meet with. You should get a copy of your year-to-date commissions and make a list of all prospects that you had in the pipeline. You should get letters from your employer and make a list of your current accounts in any future accounts that you may have been working on. You could also get letters from your coworkers or other salespeople who can help to verify what you were doing in the way of business.
Perhaps the best type of documentation and/or proof to help establish her lost income claim would be a detailed letter, on your account's letterhead, that explains your business, any seasonal changes you experience in your income, why your business and income are on the rise, forecasting what your income would have been and explaining in great detail the reasons behind the calculation, and any other information that is relevant to explaining any loss of income or business which you incurred or can expect to incur as a result of your accident related injuries.
Proving your case
As the injured party, it is up to you and your attorney to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. In loss of income cases, it is important to present as much proof as possible to support your claim. Many times this can be done with letters from an employer, coworkers, or others who can explain why you were not able to work or cannot earn what you once were making. You can also present pay stubs, tax returns, expert reports from economists, letters from current or potential customers, or clients that will help to make your case.
Put yourself in the mind of the insurance adjuster. What proof would be necessary to help you decide what would be the greatest amount of money to award for past loss of income, future loss of income, or the reduction in one's business? While there is no hard and fast rule as to what to present, you should be as comprehensive and creative as possible. You should discuss all of aspects of your business with your lawyer so that a comprehensive loss of income claim can be developed and presented.
Please contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyers to find out how to best develop your case to obtain more money for your personal injury claim.