In any personal injury case, it is the injury victim or claimant that must prove the full extent, nature, and causation of all of their economic and non-economic damages alike. There is no question that proving your physical and emotional pain and suffering claim (your non-economic damages) can be difficult and requires the assistance of experienced Phoenix injury lawyers. Surprisingly, however, some injury victims have the most trouble asserting their lost wages claim.
Fortunately, through our years of practicing personal injury law, we at Torgenson Law know what it takes to prove our clients’ damages, including their injury-related lost wages. Specifically, we know what insurance companies are looking for when assessing your wage loss claim. To better help our Arizona residents, here are a few tidbits about wage loss claims as well as information and/or documents that can be helpful in asserting your claim.
The basics of wage loss claims are relatively simple. At your place of employment, you earn a certain amount of money per day and/or hour. Unfortunately, because of your personal injuries, you missed several days and/or hours of work due to your pain or medical treatment. Because you did not come into work, your employer did not compensate you. Accordingly, under Arizona law, the individual or company liable for your injuries should compensate you for your lost wages as part of your personal injury settlement.
While the concept of the damages claim is simple, making the actual wage loss claim can be complicated, especially when you are dealing with an insurance company. Like all other types of damages, the insurance company will make the injury victim work to prove their lost wages claim. They will not simply rely on the injury victim’s words alone and accept the full amount of your claim. In short, adjusters want documentation that verifies your (1) salary or hourly wages and (2) your missed time.
Your pay stubs are crucial for showing exactly how much money you make during each pay period. This allows you to break down your daily and/or hourly pay rate to easily calculate lost wages. Before presenting your claim, you should gather the following pay stubs (if available): (1) Your pay stub from at least one pay period before your injury; (2) All pay stubs from the pay periods during your treatment; and (3) Your pay stub for at least one pay period after your medical treatment concluded. These pay stubs will effectively reveal how much money you were making before your injury, how your earnings were nonexistent and/or limited following your injury, and when you returned to your usual and consistent work schedule.
Generally, pay stubs lack information regarding specific days or hours missed. Accordingly, it is helpful to retrieve documentation from your employer that specifies the days and/or hours you were not at work because of your injuries. The most effective form of proof is to obtain a letter directly from your employer that specifically lists each day you missed work.
Often times when you suffer personal injuries, your medical providers will require and/or recommend that you either take time off work or work limited hours. These letters or notes not only justify your time off work, but they also help in establishing the severity of your injuries as well as your pain and suffering claim.
Almost no injury claim is straightforward and there are of course other circumstances that might impact your wage loss claim. At Torgenson, our lawyers know what it takes to prove each and every aspect of your claim. If your personal injuries force you to miss work, do not let an insurance adjuster undervalue or ignore your lost wages claim. Call Torgenson Law today at (602) 726-0747.