Typically, lost wages would be of a W2 employee. However, suppose somebody misses a certain amount of work for doctor appointments and recovery from the injury. In that case, we can talk to the employer to verify how many hours were lost and calculate your lost wages accordingly.
That’s when it’s simple.
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There are a lot of jobs that don’t get paid that way. Some work on commission or on a lot of systematic overtime, which is overtime that you get all of the time. Those would be examples of when it becomes a little more challenging to document the actual lost wages.
What we do in those cases is we need to prove or show that the overtime, for example, is always available to you. So when the injury actually happened, based on your seniority and for the time you were off was the time others got overtime, and they got overtime pay. So we can then calculate how much overtime you lost.
We can also go back a year. Compare your one year’s income to another year and show that overtime or that commission was consistent.
Lost Wages of a Salesperson
In addition, we have some circumstances where it’s even more nebulous than that. So, for example, say somebody’s a salesperson who networks all the time.
It’s almost impossible to know what sale, bonus, or compensation would’ve come to you if you weren’t hurt. But again, we go back some years and show what your income was in those other years and then how this lack of being on the job, networking, and building up, how did that hurt your income.
And so we can compare again this year to a prior year when it was even higher.
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ADA – American with Disabilities Act
Finally, there are a couple of things to touch on. There’s the ADA, that’s the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, if you’re injured, you have to be able to be accommodated, if that’s possible. And if possible, they have to give you light-duty work.
If it’s not possible, we can get you compensated for the work that you missed because you can’t do anything in the current condition you’re in.
Finally, what happens if you are unemployed and miss job opportunities? Those cases are a lot harder. We end up having to show that you qualified for those jobs, that you have in the past gotten those jobs, and that you will in the future be able to get those jobs, but you missed because you missed that opportunity.
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In closing, again, something other than the W2 wage earner makes it very difficult. But we’ve had great success over time, getting total compensation for the lost wage portion of your case in all these different circumstances.