Car accident victims may pursue payment for the lost wages they incur as a result of their injuries. The value of these damages can vary greatly from case to case.
In order to calculate your lost wages after a car accident in Georgia, you must gather documentation such as pay stubs and tax returns to determine your gross income. Further, you must assess the impact of your injury on your ability to work. There are several factors that will be considered when making these determinations. Fortunately, the team at our firm can help calculate the value of these damages in your case.
In the aftermath of your collision, seek support from our experienced Georgia car accident lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Calculating Lost Income After a Car Accident in Georgia
The process for calculating lost income can be tiresome and complicated. There are several factors that must be analyzed to determine the value of a plaintiff’s claim. Typically, our Atlanta car accident lawyers will take the following steps when determining the value of such damages for our clients:
The first step in calculating lost wages involves gathering all relevant documentation. This may include items such as pay stubs, tax returns, and employment contracts. These documents serve as the foundation for accurately assessing the income that has been lost as a result of the accident at issue.
Pay stubs provide details about regular wages, overtime pay, and any bonuses or incentives that the individual may have received before the accident. Tax returns offer a broader perspective on annual income, and employment contracts can shed light on any special terms or benefits related to the job.
Calculate Gross Income
Next, calculating gross income is a critical component of determining lost wages. Gross income encompasses all forms of compensation received by the injured person, not just their basic salary. It includes overtime pay, performance bonuses, commissions, and any other sources of income related to their employment. By considering the full spectrum of earnings, the financial impact of a car accident injury can be more accurately determined.
This calculation usually involves averaging the monthly or yearly income, depending on how frequently the victim is paid.
Consider Benefits and Perks
In addition to salary, it’s important to factor in employment benefits and perks that may have been affected because of an accident. For instance, health insurance, retirement contributions, stock options, and other non-salary benefits may be assessed. The loss of these benefits can add significant financial strain on the injured party, and their value should not be overlooked when calculating lost income.
Assess the Impact
The next step is to assess how the car accident has directly affected the individual’s ability to work. This assessment involves considering factors such as time away from work for recovery, any reduced hours or shifts, and any changes in job responsibilities that have occurred because of a victim’s car accident injuries. It’s essential to document and quantify these impacts to establish a clear connection between the accident and the resulting financial loss.
Obtain Medical Records
Furthermore, to support the claim for lost wages, a plaintiff must obtain comprehensive medical records and statements from their healthcare providers. These records should clearly outline the nature and extent of the injuries sustained in their collision. They should also establish a direct link between these injuries and the person’s reduced capacity to work.
Accordingly, medical records play a vital role in substantiating the financial losses experienced because of the accident. The team at our firm can help victims collect and preserve the records required to support their claims.
Calculate Future Lost Earnings Related to Long-Term Impairment
In cases where car accident injuries result in a long-term or permanent impairment, it’s necessary to calculate future lost earnings. This calculation can be complex and often requires the opinion of expert witnesses who can project the individual’s potential income losses over their remaining working years. Factors such as career trajectory, anticipated salary increases, and the impact of the injuries on career advancement may all be accounted for.
Account for Taxes
Lastly, it is essential to account for the tax implications of any settlement or award related to lost wages. Lost wages are generally considered taxable income and failing to consider the tax impact can lead to unexpected financial burdens. Fortunately, our legal team can provide guidance on how to navigate the tax implications and avoid these unexpected burdens in your case.
Time Limit to Sue for Lost Wages After a Car Accident in Georgia
The time limit to sue for lost wages after a car accident in Georgia is set forth by O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Usually, you will have two years from the date of your collision to bring your claim for lost wages to court. If you wait too long to file your lawsuit, then you may be unable to obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Even though you may have up to two years to file your case, you should begin work on your potential claim as soon as possible. The evidence needed to support your claim for lost wages may become difficult to collect as time goes on. The more quickly you get in touch with our legal team, the more efficient your evidence collection may be.
Considering Settlement Offers for Lost Wages After a Car Accident in Georgia
If you file a car accident lawsuit seeking compensation for your lost wages, then the defendant will likely attempt to settle your case before going to trial. When you accept a settlement offer, the defendant will pay you a certain amount of compensation for your damages and your claim will be dismissed.
There are advantages to entering into a settlement agreement. For example, by settling before trial, you may obtain payment sooner. However, the defendant in your case may be reluctant to present an acceptable offer. Our legal professionals can help consider any settlement offers made in your case. Therefore, you can confidently choose whether settling early or going to trial is right for you.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers for Assistance with Your Case in Georgia
Seek guidance from our experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys at Howe Law by dialing (844) 876-4357.