One of the many elements of your
personal injury case
is the amount of income that you lose as a result of
the negligence of another
who caused your Connecticut accident. The calculation of your loss of
income can either be very straightforward and easy or extremely complicated
so it is a good idea to follow at least the following suggestions:
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.