The aftermath of an “average” car crash is expensive, which is one reason why car insurance is mandatory. People may need thousands of dollars to repair their vehicles and more than that to secure proper medical care. There will potentially also be income-related consequences for anyone with health issues that force them to take a leave of absence or change professions.
Those involved in a crash may be able to request compensation for their lost wages or earning potential in addition to property damage and medical expenses. If all someone misses is a set number of days of work, calculating their lost wages will be relatively easy. If someone has a lengthy leave of absence or a need to change professions, then those calculations might prove more difficult.
Looking at the big picture
Calculating lost wages isn’t just about requesting compensation for a standard rate of pay for the years between when the injury occurred and when someone would likely retire. The process also needs to look at a few other factors. For example, workers need to account for their benefits. Those who move to lower-paid positions or who stopped working after an injury will often lose benefits in addition to losing funds from every paycheck. Those benefits could represent about a third of their compensation, making them quite valuable.
The likelihood of raises, including cost-of-living raises, and promotions will also be a key consideration. Many workers earn far more in their last decade of employment than they do in the first years while establishing themselves in a profession.
A comprehensive claim for lost wages and earning potential will need to explore the benefits and future income, including promotions and raises, that someone will not receive because of their car crash injuries. An individual already struggling with the medical consequences of a crash injury may not feel confident about calculating their long-term losses.
Having proper support when evaluating the financial impact of a car crash may help people obtain the right amount of compensation given their circumstances.