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  • Will an injury claim compensate me for lost earnings?

By Gaynor Haliday

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Will an injury claim compensate me for lost earnings?Go back to all FAQs

Successful personal injury claims are divided into 2 parts. General damages (for pain, suffering and loss of quality of life), and special damages - the claim for out of pocket expenses. As well as the cost of medical expenses, these may include loss of earnings.

Taking time off work

Sometimes when an accident has occurred, the personal injuries sustained mean the Claimant is unable to work for a period of time. In most cases this will have financial implications through loss of earnings.

To recover any earnings lost as a result of an inability to work after an accident, it is important to prove that the Claimant was justified in taking time off work. Therefore medical evidence may be required to support any claim.

Be aware that the Claimant should return to work when capable of doing so, as he has a duty to keep any losses to a minimum.

How is loss of earnings calculated?

The Court will generally assess the Claimant's net average monthly wage for at least a 3 month period. This figure is multiplied by the period of absence to calculate the total loss of earnings.

It is the Claimant's responsibility to provide evidence of loss of earnings. To show a detailed history of income, payslips for at least the 6 months prior to the accident should be produced.

Can loss of earnings from overtime be claimed?

If the Claimant regularly worked overtime prior to the accident and wishes to make a claim for this, he must demonstrate that overtime would have been available to him during the period of absence.

What if the injury is so serious that it impacts on future earning power?

In circumstances where the Claimant has not returned to work by the time the case is settled or comes to trial, the Court will need to assess what future loss of earnings the Claimant may incur.

In some cases the Claimant may have been able to return to work following the accident but his injuries deteriorate. This may lead to either his giving up work or a reduction in earning capacity.

In either case, the Claimant can pursue a claim for future loss of earnings.

How do the Self Employed claim for loss of earnings?

Calculating loss of earning for the self-employed or business owner is more complex. As well as detailed P&L accounts for the last 3 years, it is important to have accurate records of invoices plus the working diary and contract details that could not be carried out due to injury.

Any self-employed person should advise their accountant at the earliest opportunity that they are unable from work and making a loss in their business.

Loss of earnings often forms a large part of any personal injury claim. To discuss any claim you may have please call Quittance etc