When someone is involved in an accident, they are sometimes unable to return to work immediately. When this occurs, your treating doctor will write you an “off work” slip, which you can take to your employer. This will document your temporary inability to perform your work duties. If this happens and you are temporarily off work, then your lost wages will be part of your damages in your personal injury case. If you missed a few days or even a few weeks of work, then your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer, may ask you to provide your most recent pay stub, to establish your lost wages. The head of your human resources department will also be asked to provide a letter concerning your hourly rate and how many days of work you missed. All of this information and documentation will be provided to the insurance company to establish your damages and before your case is resolved.
But what happens if you are in a very serious accident and unable to return to work permanently? To establish these future lost wages in Las Vegas, Nevada, certain additional documentation must be provided. First and foremost, your experienced personal injury attorney will hire an expert witness to establish your economic losses. Secondly, all of your relevant documents will need to be provided to prove you future lost wages. Instead of just a letter from the head of your human resources department, you may be asked to provide your tax returns, including both before and after the accident. Your tax returns will be used establish your earnings history prior to the accident. Your tax returns will also show how your income has dropped, due to your inability to work.
When you can no longer perform the job you did, then you may have to undergo a vocational rehabilitation assessment as well. At this assessment, conducted by an expert, your other employment options will be explored. This usually happens when you had a very physical job prior to the accident, which you can now no longer perform due to your injuries.
Your W-2s will also be necessary, especially if you filed joint tax returns with your spouse. However, some clients ask if they can use their spouse’s income in establishing their wage loss claims. This is not permitted. However, if you are a homemaker or someone who works full time and then comes home and takes care of tasks at home, there are economic losses associated with those loses.
Most people don’t realize how much time is spent doing household tasks, such as cleaning their home, making dinner and doing the laundry. If your injuries are of a serious nature and you can no longer perform those tasks, then your experienced personal injury attorney will seek those additional loses for household services. Even if you are not a full time homemaker, you may have sustained household services losses. If you had to hire a housekeeper or other household assistance to perform you daily tasks, these documented expenses will also submitted to the insurance company for your claim.
Next time we will discuss what qualifies someone to be an expert in court in Las Vegas, Nevada.