Hi. My name is Joe Moses and I’m a personal injury attorney and I handle motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents and we’re located just outside of Chicago. I’m a founding partner of the law firm of Kass & Moses, and we’ve been doing this for about 30 years. Today, I’d like to talk about lost wages.
A Lost Wages Claim
It is a very important piece of the total package of compensation. The typical lost wages would be a W-2 employee. Somebody misses a certain amount of work for doctor’s appointments and for recovery from the injury. And we’re able to talk to the employer, we’re able to verify what hours were lost and calculate your lost wages. That’s when it’s simple.
There are a lot of jobs that don’t get paid that way. So, in fact, perfect examples would be somebody works on commission or somebody that works and depends on a lot of systematic overtime, overtime that you get all of the time. Those would be examples. 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 that based on your seniority or availability, then it actually happened that the time you were off was a time others got overtime and they got overtime pay and we can then calculate how much overtime you lost.
We can also go back a year and we can compare your income one year to an income another year and show that that overtime or that commission was consistent with what always happened. In addition to that, we have some circumstances where it’s even more nebulous than that. So what you’ll have is a circumstance, say somebody is a salesperson, and that salesperson networks all the time. Well, it’s almost impossible to know what sale or what bonus or compensation would have come to you if you weren’t hurt. But we’re able to compare again. We go back years and we show what your income was in those other years. And then how did this lack of being on the job networking and building up, how did that hurt your income? So we’re able to compare again this year to a prior year when it was even higher.
Finally, there’s 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 it is possible, and if it’s possible, then they have to give you light duty work. If it’s not possible, we’re able to get you compensated for that work that you missed because you can’t do anything in the current condition you are in. Finally, what happens if you are unemployed and you missed job opportunities? In those cases it is a lot harder. We end up having to show that you qualify 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.
In closing, again, something other than the W2 wage earner, it makes it very difficult. But we’ve had great success over time, getting full compensation for the lost wage portion of your case in all these different circumstances. So if that’s you and you have questions, contact me. My name is Joe Moses. I am at 877-292-5344 and I am happy to answer any questions.