What Counts As Lost Income In A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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When you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit, there are a lot of things that you’ll hear you should sue for: medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, vehicle repairs if an accident caused your injury. Lost income may be one of the most confusing aspects of the monetary recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. Most people assume that lost income refers to the money you didn’t earn while recovering, and this is true. But lost income can go far beyond the paychecks you missed.

Lost Compensation Rather Than Lost Income

When you include lost income as part of what you want to recover, you should be thinking of all forms of regular income you won’t receive due to your injuries. This is what’s called “total employment compensation.” Total employment compensation is not the same as lost income.

Lost income is the money you would have received from your employer, had you been able to perform your job as usual. It’s your standard income. So, if you’re out of work for six months recovering from your injury, suing for lost income will get you six months worth of your regular weekly, biweekly, or monthly paychecks, depending on how often you’re paid.

Lost compensation, however, includes that six months of lost income and much more. Think about the other benefits and perks of your job:

  • Vacation days
  • Sick days
  • Bonus days (if your employer offers “free days off” for things such as exemplary service, birthdays, anniversary of hire, etc.)
  • Pay raises or bonuses
  • Non-monetary perks such as free company tickets to concerts, theme parks, golf events or local theater tickets

These are all things that, if you had been able to work, you could have benefited from. You may have been able to use or earn vacation or sick days, or taken advantage of bonus days. You may have done an exemplary job in your position and earned raises or bonuses, or other perks.

Lost compensation encompasses the income you definitely lost, as well as including the “could have beens.”

The courts often grant lost compensation

Traditionally, the courts have ruled that personal injury victims are entitled to recover for all lost compensation, not just the definite lost income. Because of this, you should ensure that you think of all forms of compensation you may have missed out on, so that you can include it all in your claim.

Contact a personal injury attorney at Tobler Law today to discuss your personal injury claim and determine your next steps.