Calculating Lost Wages After a Car Accident in New Hampshire
In addition to the cost of medical treatment and car repairs, it is possible to recover compensation for lost income due to missed work in the aftermath of a car accident in New Hampshire. To ensure that you recover the full amount of lost wages you need and deserve, you must learn how to properly calculate the income lost.
[ Related: How to Get Your NH State Police Accident Report ]
Lost Income Includes Both Regular Work and Missed Opportunities
Lost income includes not only any income lost from your job while you were recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident, but also reimbursement for employment opportunities you were unable to accept as a result of the accident.
Importantly, the right to recover this income exists regardless of whether you are a full-time salaried employee, a part-time hourly wage earner, self-employed, or work multiple jobs.
Income Is Still Lost If an Accident Has Forced You to Use Sick Days
Obviously, there is a process that takes time in recovering compensation for personal injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost income due to missed work after a car accident. In the meantime, you may be forced to use up paid sick days or vacation leave so you don’t miss a paycheck and fall behind on your financial responsibilities.
Sick days and vacation time have financial value when they are paid the same as regular working days; to be denied this value because of a car accident that was not your fault would be to multiply a wrong. Thankfully, the law regards a loss of sick or vacation days as equivalent to a loss of salary or wages arising from your regular work.
You Must Prove the Work Missed and Wages Lost
Both car insurance providers and courts of law require proof in the process of recovering compensation for lost income due to missed work in the wake of a car accident. As such, you will need to provide documentation of the time missed from work after a car accident, and the salary or wages you would have earned but for the accident. Fortunately, gathering this information is a relatively straightforward process.
If you work for a company, ask your supervisor to draft a letter on official company letterhead containing your name, job title, pay rate, usual working hours, and the hours or days you missed after the accident. If you are dealing with an at-fault driver’s insurance provider, you should then send the letter to the claim adjuster that has been assigned to your claim.
If you have been forced to bring the at-fault driver to court in a lawsuit, send the letter to your attorney.
You Can Prove Lost Income and Missed Opportunities Even If You’re Self-Employed
Proving lost income and missed opportunities is more difficult if you are self-employed. There is a conflict of interest because you are vouching for yourself in this context instead of having a disinterested third party vouch for you.
So, instead of relying on a supervisor’s letter on company stationary, you will need to construct a timeline of your business, illustrating how the accident has resulted in a decrease of invoices, appointments, conferences, and other income-related business activities.
Here, an attorney can be invaluable in gathering and presenting evidence in a manner that fully reflects the adverse financial consequences of a car accident on your business.
You May Need to Bring an At-Fault Driver to Court in a Lawsuit
New Hampshire is a “fault” state with regard to car accidents. This means that you are able to bring the driver or drivers responsible for the car accident in which you were involved to court in a lawsuit for damages as either a supplement or alternative to reaching a settlement with the car insurance providers of the at-fault parties. Here, the services of a skilled and experienced New Hampshire car accident attorney will prove invaluable.
As discussed above, one’s ability to recover compensation for lost income and missed opportunities is dependent upon evidence. An experienced attorney is an expert at gathering and presenting evidence, and will work to gather all the proof needed to recover not only lost income due to missed work, but also compensation for your personal injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses.
In addition, New Hampshire limits the amount of time in which an at-fault driver can be sued for damages following a car accident. A dedicated car accident attorney will be aware of every deadline imposed by the courts of the state, and will ensure that your claim is filed and pursued in a timely fashion.
Don’t let a negligent or reckless driver’s actions endanger your financial present and future; if you are unable to reach a fair settlement with an at-fault driver’s insurance provider, you should reach out to a New Hampshire car accident attorney as soon as possible.