When you are hurt in a Provo, Utah car accident case, often you are out of work, or worse yet, you are permanently impaired in your ability to work. A good Utah personal injury attorney will understand how to capture your lost income and back lost wages. Not all personal injury attorneys can front the expert witness costs necessary to produce the best compensation in your case. Here’s how to capture lost wages and future lost wages.
Examples of Capturing Back Lost Wages:
Hourly Rate Worker:
In the simpler case of a factory worker who is on set hours and hourly rate, you take the hours missed calculated by the hourly rate. This applies to visits to medical doctors as well as time off work due to the car collision.
For someone who is on salary, often an indicator of time lost is to divide your monthly salary by 40 hours a week to reach your hourly rate. So $5,000 divided by 4.3 40 hour work week comes to roughly $30 per hour.
Commission Based Workers:
For the bonus, commission based worker, back lost wages can be more tricky. Here you can take your historical income at that job and make comparisons of prior income levels in the past months. For example, if you were injured in June 2016, you could look to the prior June 2015 for an idea of how much income you may have lost. Or you could just divide your yearly income from the last year and divide it by twelve months to find an average monthly income.
All of the ways to figure past lost wages has some imperfections, but Utah law does not require mathematical certainty when calculating damages. Error or difficulty in calculating damages does not run against an injured person. There just needs to be a reasonable basis of evidence to figure damages from.
A favorite Utah jury instruction on proof of damages states:
CV2002 Proof of damages
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Second, the amount of damages. The level of evidence required to prove the amount of damages is not as high as what is required to prove the occurrence of damages. There must still be evidence, not just speculation, that gives a reasonable estimate of the amount of damages, but the law does not require a mathematical certainty.
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When presenting your car accident insurance claim, do not back down on proving your past lost wages. Sometimes the insurance adjuster will get the law wrong, or try to require a higher proof level in making you prove your past lost wages.
Attorney Jacob S. Gunter regularly handles personal injury car accident cases in Provo, Utah and state wide. He can be reached for a free consultation at (801) 373-6345.