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Your Rights and Options to Recovering Lost Wages After a Car Crash

If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas, you may be dealing with lost wages from having to take time off of work. This can make it even more difficult to pay for accident-related medical costs and property repairs. In this scenario, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your lost wages from one or more parties.

Who Pays for Lost Wages After a Car Accident in Texas?

Texas, like most states, operates under an at-fault insurance law. This means that if you get involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver or party is responsible for paying for your related costs and losses. This can include medical bills, vehicle repairs and lost wages.

In a no-fault state, on the other hand, drivers carry personal injury protection insurance to pay for their own losses, regardless of who caused the crash. If an at-fault driver in Texas does not have insurance, the victim may be able to recover lost wages through his or her own insurance provider.

What Constitutes Lost Wages?

“Lost wages” as a damage category in a car accident case refers to income lost due to the injured victim’s inability to work after a car accident.

Lost wages may include:

  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Hourly wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Salary
  • Self-employment income
  • Tips
  • Vacation or sick days accrued

Lost wages can also include lost capacity to earn, or the loss of a victim’s ability to earn a living in the future due to a long-term or permanent injury.

How to Prove Lost Wages After a Car Accident

Texas’s fault-based car accident law requires the plaintiff or injured victim to show proof of lost wages before recovering compensation. Proving this type of loss often requires documenting lost income in the form of wage statements, pay stubs, tax returns, employment contracts and a letter from your employer.

Testimony from coworkers or clients can also establish your inability to work, as can documentation of your injuries. Obtain your medical records connected to the car accident and ask your doctor for a note explaining your inability to return to work, either at your full capacity or in any capacity.

How Are Lost Wages Calculated?

Lost wages may be calculated by multiplying a crash victim’s average hourly wage (or salary) prior to the accident by the number of days his or her injuries will impact the ability to work. If you can return to work at partial capacity, you could recover the difference between what you used to make and what you are capable of making now.

If your car accident injuries are severe enough to permanently impact your ability to earn a living, “lost capacity to earn” damages can be awarded for future losses. These are calculated based on potential future earnings and may vary based on your wages prior to the accident, your age and your overall health.

How to File a Car Accident Claim for Lost Wages in Texas

If you were recently involved in a car accident that interfered with your ability to work, consult with an experienced Austin car accident lawyer at FVF Law about your right to recover lost wage damages. We offer free case reviews and have over 100 years of combined legal experience to help you understand your rights and legal options. Call (512) 865-5941 or reach out online today to get in touch with us.

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Fogelman & Von Flatern is a personal injury law firm that believes it matters why we practice law: to make sure good people in unfair circumstances who want reasonable options are taken seriously, especially by their attorney. We value transparency, compassion, and justice, and we strive to embody that in our practice. At FVF, you can trust that you've got the best people on your case, for the right reasons.

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