Under California law, injured parties in a slip and fall accident may sue to recover damages for lost wages, including past income and future lost earnings. It is essential to have abundant evidence of your earnings history. For example, you will need documentation and testimony from your employer of your salary, overtime, commissions, bonuses, vacation days, and other benefits.
Contact our team at Salamati Law to help you better understand your rights and what you will need to prove to secure full compensation. We are committed to negotiating your lost wages aggressively, strategically, and creatively. Schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer.
Calculating Lost Wages
As noted above, it is crucial to have substantial evidence of your earnings history to show what you have received in the past and will miss because of your injury.
Here are some steps your attorney might take:
To determine the amount of lost wages and potential future loss of income, your slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles may consult the following :
- Request documentation from your employer about your work history.
- Testimony from medical professionals on the extent of your injuries and how they may affect your ability to work in the future.
- An economist who can establish salary trends in your field and what you could have expected to earn.
- People who know you personally can talk about what you were like before the injury, such as your life goals, interests, and hobbies.
Your employer can write a letter detailing the income that you’ve lost because of your injuries, which can include the following:
- Hours typically worked each week
- Regular hourly rate of pay or salary
- Overtime rate
- Usual pay schedule
- Any other lost perks or benefits (such as a car allowance)
- 401k or profit-sharing contributions
Not everyone can request an employer letter, such as those who are self-employed. Access to pay stubs, invoices, and your past tax returns may provide alternatives. If you do not retain copies of your federal tax returns, you can request them from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The California Franchise Tax Board may also provide copies of your state tax returns.
Lost income can include wages, bonuses, and other financial benefits you would have received if not for the injury.
Examples include the following:
- Hourly wages
- Overtime pay
- Sick days, vacation days, personal days
- Bonuses, benefits, and perks
California law also allows you to sue for the income you cannot earn in the future due to an accident or injury. This is called lost earning capacity. Proving it can be more challenging. It often requires testimony from a medical or occupational expert to account for raises, bonuses, and career development.
Insurance companies remain profitable by paying out as few claims as possible. They often do whatever it takes to deny or reduce your payment. Your attorney will work hard to rebut or refute these strategies to protect your slip and fall settlement.
However, you can take the following steps to protect your case:
- Be mindful of what you post on social media. Insurance adjusters will likely watch your social media pages to find evidence that could undermine your claim. For example, posting pictures or videos of yourself doing activities that seem inconsistent with the injuries you claim could hurt your case.
- Keep a daily journal of how your injury has affected your everyday life, including days you did not work but used other benefits such as vacation days. You may still pursue compensation, even if you used paid time off for the days when you were at home recuperating. After all, without the injury, you or your family could have used your PTO for other purposes or cashed out the days at the end of the year.
- Consult with an experienced Los Angeles slip and fall attorney. Our attorney can guide you through the complicated legal process while defending your rights and working hard to maximize your compensation. At Salamati Law, our attorneys have been successful in slip and fall cases, including recovering damages for lost income. We can also ensure you meet the statute of limitations.
Why Choose the Salamati Law Firm for Your Case
Salamati Law has 28 years of experience with slip and fall cases and represents clients across Los Angeles County. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and have won several multi-million-dollar settlements.
We are results-oriented personal injury attorneys eager to pursue civil actions arising from negligence, car and motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and more. Schedule a free consultation; there is no obligation to hire us. Since we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees.