Can I Be Compensated for Lost Wages if I am Self-Employed but Injured in a Car Accident?

By May 26, 2019 Car Accident

When you are in a car accident in California and it is someone else’s fault, that person is responsible for your damages, whether it’s property or bodily damages. To come to a sum of all the compensation owed to you, lost wages and, to some extent, loss of earned income capability, are factored in. To do so, contracts, pay stubs, W-2s, and other documentation are used to determine the amount of lost wages that accrued and the estimate of the value of your lost earned income capability.

But in today’s market, there are more and more people working for themselves, in other words: self-employed. When you are self-employed, you don’t have all the same documentation. So, some wonder how can the right, just, and fair amounts be determined? Here, we provide an overview of how this is done.

Economic Losses Documented

You must have documentation proving your economic losses in order to receive compensation for the same. As a self-employed business owner, you may need to provide any or all of the following to document your economic losses, lost income, and loss of earning capability.

  • tax returns
  • financial statements
  • work orders and/or invoices.

There are other documents, too, that would benefit your case, and these include things like:

  • letters from clients who can attest to the work you would have completed but for the injury
  • proof of projects that had to be canceled due to the injury
  • economic loss experts providing written testimony on the value of your lost opportunities in your specific market or niche.

Lost Income Determination

Determining lost income can transpire in many forms. In part, it may make a difference in the line of work you are in, like:

  • freelance writer
  • truck driver
  • daycare provider
  • consultant
  • web designer
  • restaurant owner.

Different documentation is required in many of these industries. After you are in an accident, to determine lost income for any one of these positions, however, may involve considering:

  • lost income for the specific days you were unable to work (remember: as a self-employed person, your hours and work schedule may vary than persons who work 9-5 jobs)
  • future capability to be able to perform the same work (e.g., a freelance writer can still perform his or her job if a leg is amputated, but he or she may find it too difficult to drive a truck)
  • lost profits that will not be invested in your work because you are unable to work
  • lost of business opportunities (especially for freelance writers, freelance web designers, and the like) because you are unable to market yourself or provide services while injured.

To note, keep in mind that a self-employed plaintiff may have a higher amount listed under lost wages due to the very nature of being self-employed. You are responsible for more expenses. In addition, unlike other persons who are in a car accident and injured and miss work for a few days or weeks or whatnot, a self-employed person does not only lose those wages, but entire aspects of his or her business.

Contact a Newport Beach CA Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you are self-employed and are in a car accident, be certain to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer in Newport Beach CA who understands the nuances of self-employment and all the expenses that encompass it. Only this kind of understanding will ensure you receive just and fair compensation.

Contact the Ledger Law Firm today to learn more.