Can Lost Wages Be Recovered After a Car Accident in Connecticut?

Problematic driver from the accident suffering headache.

Experiencing a car accident is painful enough without the added stress of lost income. If an accident leaves you unable to work, even temporarily, you may be worried about how you can provide for yourself and your loved ones. Thankfully, you can recover lost wages and reduced future earning capacity in Connecticut if you can show that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries.

What Is Included in Lost Wages?

Lost wages are the money you would have earned if you had not been injured in the accident. If you took time off from work to heal and weren’t paid for that time, you could receive compensation for lost wages in a car accident claim.

You can also recover lost earning capacity if your car accident injuries seriously impact your earning ability. Your injuries may prevent you from returning to your previous job or reduce your capacity to work as many hours or in the same role. This compensation depends on your age, skills, work-life expectancy, and the long-term impact of your injuries on your earning potential.

In addition to your regular income, lost wages may include benefits and potential bonuses. This covers health insurance benefits, retirement contributions, performance bonuses, and other employment perks you would have received if you had not been injured. These losses can be significant, especially if your benefits package is a substantial part of your overall compensation.

What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Lost Wages?

To prove lost wages after a car accident, you need to provide several types of evidence:

  • Employment records – Pay stubs, tax returns, and employment contracts verify your income and employment status before the accident.
  • Medical records – This documentation links your injuries to the time you took off work, providing a detailed account of your medical condition and treatment.
  • Doctor’s notes – Statements from medical professionals can confirm your inability to work due to your injuries, often outlining the recommended duration of your recovery period.
  • Employer’s statement – A confirmation of the work you missed and the wages you lost, typically from your supervisor or HR department, details the days you were absent and your regular pay rate.

How Can My Lost Wages Be Calculated?

The approach to calculating lost wages after a car accident varies depending on your employment status. Here’s a detailed breakdown to help you determine the appropriate amount of compensation to pursue:

Hourly Employees

Calculating lost wages is relatively straightforward for hourly employees. Follow these steps:

  • Determine your hourly rate – If your hourly rate varies, this could be a consistent rate or an average. To find the average, add the totals from your pay stubs and divide by the total hours worked.
  • Calculate total hours missed – This includes full days and any partial hours missed due to medical appointments or therapy sessions.
  • Multiply your hourly rate by hours missed – For instance, if your average hourly wage is $20 and you missed 50 hours of work, your lost wages would be $1,000.

Salaried Employees

For salaried employees, the calculation involves determining your average daily wage. Here is how to do it:

  • Calculate your daily wage – Note your annual salary, then divide by the number of workdays in a year. For those working five days per week for 52 weeks, this comes out to 260 workdays. For example, if your annual salary is $52,000, your daily wage would be $200.
  • Multiply by days missed – Consider full and partial days missed. If your daily wage is $200 and you missed 10 days, your lost wages would be $2,000.
  • Include bonuses or commissions – If you would have earned bonuses or commissions during your absence, add these to your lost wages. For instance, if you were set to earn a $500 bonus on top of your regular wages, your total lost wages would be $2,500.

Can I Sue for Lost Wages If I Am Self-Employed?

As a self-employed worker, you can sue for lost wages if a car accident impacts your ability to work. You need thorough documentation of your earnings through tax returns, invoices, and contracts to prove your lost income. These records provide a clear picture of your typical income and help establish the financial losses you incurred due to the accident.

Additionally, you must demonstrate how your injury affects your business operations and overall earnings. This might include showing a decline in revenue, missed opportunities, or the inability to fulfill contracts. Detailed records and statements can illustrate the extent of the impact on your business.

Testimony from a financial expert can further support your lost income claims. They can analyze your financial records, project potential future earnings, and objectively assess your losses.

What Other Compensation May I Be Owed?

You may be entitled to additional compensation beyond lost wages after a car accident, including:

  • Current and future medical bills related to your injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress caused by the collision
  • Lower quality of life
  • Loss of consortium, or the impacts on your relationships and family life due to your injuries
  • Repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident

How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to Sue for Compensation?

Connecticut law gives you two years from the crash date to file a car accident lawsuit. If you wait too long, you might lose your chance to recover your lost wages. Acting quickly and consulting with a lawyer will help ensure you meet all legal deadlines and maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

Contact a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer

Having experienced legal representation can make all the difference after a car accident. At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, our dedicated Connecticut car accident attorneys will gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights to demand fair compensation. We offer personalized attention and effective communication when handling your car accident case. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to pursuing the justice and compensation you deserve.

Author Bill Beckert

For over three decades, Bill has dedicated his career to helping injury victims throughout Connecticut secure justice and accountability for injuries sustained at little to no fault of their own. In all cases, he places the best interest of his clients above all else. Describing the services we provide here at the firm, he explains, “We are fighters who work to ensure that our clients are informed and empowered so that we can achieve an outcome that provides peace of mind.”

After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1989, he then earned his law degree in 1993 from the Western New England University School of Law. Since then, he has striven to make sure every client who steps into his office gets the high-quality representation and undivided attention they deserve. In recognition of his work, Bill has been listed in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.