How vehicle accident settlements handle a victim’s loss of earnings


When a person is involved in a vehicular accident that is deemed as someone else’s fault, the responsible person is usually liable for covering any damages for loss earning potential and bills arising from the accident. If the at-fault party has insurance, the vehicle accident settlement covering the damages and bills may be offered quickly. In some cases, the settlement can take months or years to receive. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced vehicle accident settlement lawyer in your corner.

Your recovery from an accident is key to your health and happiness, and the right attorney can be the difference between being able to relax and not stress while you heal. 

There are a lot of factors that go into determining a vehicle accident settlement amount. Generally, an attorney will seek to ensure any damages done to your physical property during the accident are compensated for. This includes damages such as those made to the vehicle you were driving when the accident happened.

The attorney will also help ensure all medical expenses arising from the accident are compensated for in the settlement. Take for example that the accident results in $55,000 in medical expenses and doctors predict you will incur another $30,000 in medical expenses by the time you make a full recovery or the best recovery possible. The at-fault party’s auto insurance, though, only covers $50,000 of these expenses, leaving you with the nightmare of possibly having to cover $35,000 worth of medical bills just so you can make the best recovery possible from an accident that wasn’t even your fault. With a vehicle accident attorney, you can rest easy knowing these bills are being accounted for in your accident settlement.

In addition to calculating for property damages and existing/expected medical expenses, your settlement is also based on any of loss of earnings that you can prove. 

Keep reading as we take a close look at how a vehicle accident settlement handles a victim’s loss of earnings when determining a settlement amount. 

What Is a Victim’s Loss of Earnings?

When a person is injured in a vehicular accident, the extent of the injury plays a large role in calculating the value of the victim’s loss of earnings. If there is no medical proof stating the injury interferes with the person’s ability to perform his or her regular work duties, the value of the victim’s loss of earnings may be $0.

However, if medical proof shows the victim’s injury does impact his or her ability to perform work duties, the value of the vehicle accident settlement goes up. The more severe the injury, the higher the loss of earnings value. 

A personal injury attorney will calculate the value of a victim’s loss of earnings according to the following factors:

  • Average number of weekly work hours
  • Average hourly pay or salary
  • Loss of potential overtime pay

Take for example that you are injured in a car accident and you can’t return to work for three weeks. As a result of having to be off for three weeks, you miss out on three week’s of regular pay. According to your recent paystubs, you can prove that you had been working an average of 40 a week at a payrate of $30.14 an hour. Your paystubs also show that you work nine hours each week at a rate of $45.21. Without this income and your usually withholdings, you risk not being able to cover your monthly health insurance premium. Not receiving your regular paychecks also reduces the amount of monies going into any 401k accounts or annuities. 

With an experienced personal injury attorney, though, the vehicle accident settlement value will account for any and all of your loss of earnings. You can focus on your recovery while knowing the settlement you receive will compensate for any income you missed out on because of the accident. 

Your loss of earnings can quickly add up. Using the data from the example above, your loss of earnings value would easily exceed $4,837.47.

Do you see now why it’s so important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can help with your vehicle settlement amount? 

The first thing you should always do after being injured in a car accident is seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you have sustained an injury, it’s still wise to go to the emergency room to make sure. There are a lot of internal injuries that can occur because of an accident that you won’t know about unless you go to the doctor. Skipping out on letting a physician take a look at you can be risky to your health and it also reduces the overall potential value of an accident settlement. 

Final Thoughts

Your recovery from any type of vehicle accident including motorcycle accidents matters in so many ways. The faster and better you can recover from your injuries, the quicker you can get back to being the worker, friend and family member you want to be. But recovery from injuries often takes time, and in some cases, it takes months or even years.

To ensure you have the monies in place to take care of yourself and anybody who is dependent on you, it is crucial that your vehicle settlement amount factor in any loss of earnings. Give our firm a call today if you have been injured in a car accident. From pain and suffering to loss of earnings to medical expenses and property damages, we are here to help you achieve the best and fastest recovery possible. 

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