An individual injured in an accident as the result of the negligence of another is entitled to be compensated for his or her damages. These damages include the cost of medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and inconvenience. This article focuses on lost wages.

Lost wages or income includes both money lost from the job the injured party held when he or she was injured and reimbursement for work opportunities missed as a result of the accident and its effects. Specifically, this includes both income while the injured person was unable to work and time missed while receiving treatment for injuries. This right applies regardless of whether the person is employed full or part-time or receives a salary or an hourly wage.

If an injured party uses sick leave or vacation pay for the time missed as a result of the accident, he or she is still able to compensated for this loss. To be reimbursed for lost income, one must show the time missed from work because of the accident and how much money he or she would have made during the time missed.

For an individual employed by a third party, documenting lost income is pretty straightforward. The injured party can contact the company to have his name, position, rate of pay, normal number of hours worked and the number of hours/days missed following the accident specifically outlined on company letterhead and verified by a supervisor’s signature. If an individual is self-employed, he or she will have to produce evidence that demonstrates a drop in income, documents showing appointments or meetings that were cancelled as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, and possibly an income tax returns from a previous year.

Lost wages is an important category of damage that can be recovered when an individual is injured in an accident. As demonstrated above, proper documentation is key to insuring maximum reimbursement.