Lost Income from your Injury Claim
It’s a totally natural consequence of getting injured. If you’re hurt, often times you can’t work, so you are losing money. Does that affect the value of your claim? Heck yeah it does.
But like everything involving personal injury claims in North Carolina, the devil is in the details.
Can you just say, “Hey, Snake Farm, I missed 2 weeks of work and that’s worth $75,000,” and expect to get that? You bet you can’t. Of course it’s not that simple.
So, how do you help to make sure the lost wage aspect of your injury claim is strong? I’m so glad you asked.
The first step is to have a legitimate reason to miss work. Don’t @ me, I’m on your side, but this is the time for truth. If you have a sore ankle but you can drive and have a sedentary job, should you really be missing work? Remember, in North Carolina you have an affirmative duty to mitigate your damages, which means that if it’s within your reasonable power to make your damages lower, you can’t benefit if your damages get artificially inflated. So just make sure your inability to work is reasonable. Conversely, if you are able to work, just do that.
The second step goes hand in hand with the first. Who is the best person to say you can’t work? YOUR DOCTOR! Whoever that is – family doc, chiropractor, whatever – is best-positioned to state that due to the injuries you suffered in the auto accident (or whatever) of (insert date here) you are unable to work for ____________, or you should avoid ___________________ (which may then mean you can’t work, depending on your job’s ability to accommodate your restrictions).
The third step is making sure your employer is on your side. If your employer will provide on their letterhead a statement that you a) work there, b) missed X amount of time, and c) that time is worth Y, then that’s the best lost wage documentation you can hope for. That letter, combined with an out of work letter from your doc that matches up is the best combo of evidence you can have to support a lost wage claim.
Granted, some of us can’t do a lot of that. What if you’re self-employed? That puts you in a bit of a pickle, because then instead of having a disinterested third party attesting to your lost income, it’s you, which is inherently a bit less believable. Still, there are ways around it, primarily showing a record of income via your taxes from years prior and coupling that with an out of work note, you might be able to get by. But as they say, there’s many a slip twixt a cup and a lip.
Look, like a lot of injury claim stuff, this can get complicated. All the more reason to talk to an attorney. Call one. Call me. 919-929-2992.
Trackback from your site.