How to Prove Lost Wages in Texas

how to prove lost wages

If you get injured and are unable to work, lost wages can significantly impact your financial stability. Fortunately, if someone else was responsible for your injury, you may be able to obtain compensation for your lost time from work and loss of future earning capacity.. However, challenges can arise when dealing with skeptical insurance companies, especially for self-employed individuals or those with variable income.

Overcoming these hurdles demands meticulous documentation and a solid legal strategy. Seeking guidance from The Callahan Law Firm can help manage this process effectively, ensuring full compensation for lost wages. Whether you’ve been injured in a work accident, a car crash, or any other type of incident, we’re here to help.

Understanding Lost Wages in Texas

Lost wages refer to income that an individual misses out on due to injuries sustained in an accident that prevents them from working. Proving lost wages is crucial, as it allows the injured party to claim compensation for their lost income.

This is different from the loss of earning capacity. Lost wages compensate the injured party for the actual income they missed out on due to the accident. Loss of future earning capacity refers to an injured party’s potential to earn income in the future being diminished due to disability or the long-term effects of an injury.

There are several types of income and benefits that can be claimed as lost wages in Texas:

  • Regular wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Tips and bonuses
  • Self-employment income
  • Sick leave and vacation pay
  • Disability insurance benefits
  • Pension and retirement benefits

Documenting all these potential sources of lost wages is key to recouping damages after an accident in Texas.

Key Steps to Proving Lost Wages

Proving lost wages requires collecting documentation of your employment status, income, and work hours. Key evidence to gather includes:

  • Pay stubs: Obtain copies of your pay stubs for at least the past 12 months. Pay stubs show your position, hourly wage or salary, hours worked, gross pay, deductions, and net income per pay period.
  • Tax returns: Get copies of your federal tax returns for the past 2 or 3 years. Your tax returns further validate your income and employment status over recent years.
  • Bank statements: Gather bank statements that correspond with pay periods to cross-reference your income deposits. Highlight any deposits from employers to clearly match your income to bank transactions.
  • Employment contracts: If you have an employment contract, obtain a copy as evidence of your compensation rate and benefits. This can help establish expected earnings.
  • Letters from employers: Request letters from current and past employers confirming your position, work schedule, pay rate, average hours, and dates of employment.

Thoroughly documenting your pre-accident income and employment provides the foundation to calculate and prove lost wages resulting from the accident.

Seeking Medical Insight on Work Limitations

A doctor’s report detailing the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and work restrictions is critical for proving lost wages. The report should outline the medical conditions caused by the accident, the treatment plan, the expected recovery timeline, and any limitations on the ability to work.

For example, if a back injury prevents heavy lifting, a construction worker may not be able to perform their regular job duties. Or if a head injury causes cognitive difficulties, an accountant may struggle with numerical tasks.

Vocational Experts

Vocational experts can also calculate the difference between pre-accident and post-accident earning capacity. Their assessment strengthens the lost wage claim by providing an authoritative opinion.

Having solid medical evidence is also vital for lost wage claims. Doctors’ reports prove both the cause of lost wages and the likely trajectory of future losses.

Calculating Lost Wages and Future Loss

Calculating lost wages involves a clear methodology, especially when dealing with straightforward salary structures. Here’s how it’s typically done:

Multiplying Hourly Wage by Missed Work Hours

For individuals earning an hourly wage, the calculation of lost wages is relatively straightforward:

  • Past Lost Wages: Determine the hourly rate and multiply it by the total number of work hours missed due to the accident. This includes regular hours and, where applicable, overtime that the employee would have reasonably expected to work.
  • Future Lost Wages: If the injury is going to lead to missed work in the future, calculate the expected missed hours by multiplying the hourly rate by the hours of work expected to be missed during the recovery period. This projection should be based on medical advice regarding the expected duration of recovery.

Challenges in Calculating Lost Wages for Irregular, Unconventional, or Commission-Based Incomes

Calculating lost wages becomes more complex when dealing with irregular or unconventional incomes, such as those derived from commission-based roles, freelancing, or self-employment:

  • Irregular Incomes: For individuals with irregular incomes, averaging earnings from the prior months or years can help establish a reasonable expectation of lost income.
  • Commission-Based Incomes: For commission-based incomes, it’s essential to use historical data to determine an average commission rate by averaging earnings over a period before the accident, considering seasonal variations and other income factors.
  • Self-Employment: Self-employed individuals must demonstrate potential earnings using financial records, invoices, and previous tax returns to establish an average income.

No matter what type of job you have, successful claims hinge on detailed financial documentation and experienced legal assistance to compile evidence and accurately calculate lost earnings.

Initiating an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit

When involved in an accident and seeking to claim lost wages or other damages, it’s crucial to carefully navigate the insurance claims process or prepare for potential litigation. Start by determining the responsible party’s insurance coverage.

At the accident scene, gather all contact and insurance information from those involved, and if possible, details from witnesses for further evidence. Notify both your insurer and the responsible party’s insurer, providing initial accident details and your intent to claim.

When you’re ready, you can file your claim. If you’re confused about how to do this, reaching out to a personal injury lawyer can be very helpful.

Filing a Lawsuit if the Insurance Company Denies or Undervalues the Claim

If the insurance company denies your claim or offers an inadequate settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit to seek appropriate damages. Consulting with a lawyer specialized in personal injury is crucial.

They will help prepare and file your lawsuit, detailing your claim and the evidence. Cases often settle out of court, but if no agreement is reached, the case might go to trial, where a judge or jury determines liability and damages. This approach ensures you receive fair compensation for your losses, including lost wages.

Documenting Other Expenses Resulting from a Car Accident

When pursuing lost wages after an accident in Texas, it is also important to document and claim compensation for other expenses that may have resulted from the collision. These can significantly add to the overall value of an injury claim, and typically include:

  • Medical Expenses: All reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to treating crash injuries should be thoroughly documented and submitted to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Ongoing future medical costs can also be claimed if supported by expert medical opinions.
  • Property Damage: You can claim expenses for repairing or replacing property damaged in an accident, including vehicles and personal items, using estimates, invoices, receipts, and photographs for support.
  • Transportation Costs: If a vehicle was totaled in the crash, costs of alternate transportation like rental cars, rides from others, and public transit should be tracked and claimed.
  • Pain and Suffering: Injured parties can claim damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by an accident, with settlement amounts based on factors like injury severity, treatment duration, and impact on quality of life.
  • Loss of Consortium: In severe injury cases, an injured party’s spouse may claim loss of consortium for disruptions to marital relations, companionship, and homemaking, requiring proof of significant lifestyle impact.

When pursuing lost wages after a car accident in Texas, it is crucial to document and seek compensation for all related expenses to fully address the financial and personal impact of the accident.

The Importance of Legal Representation

The Importance of Legal Representation

Those injured in accidents often face an uphill battle when dealing with insurance companies without proper legal representation. Insurance adjusters have years of experience minimizing payouts, and they will use tactics to lowball or deny legitimate personal injury claims.

Without an attorney, an injured party may struggle to:

  • Navigate complex insurance policies and legal procedures
  • Properly document and calculate the full scope of damages
  • Effectively negotiate fair compensation with adjusters
  • Identify all potential avenues for recovery from multiple policies
  • Determine if litigation is necessary and handle the court process

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney from The Callahan Law Firm levels the playing field and provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Taking over all communications and negotiations with insurance companies
  • Thoroughly investigating the accident to establish liability
  • Gathering evidence to prove the full extent of damages
  • Calculating lost wages and other expenses accurately
  • Filing a lawsuit if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached
  • Representing the injured party in court if necessary

Reputable personal injury law firms like The Callahan Law Firm are here to help you. Contact us for a no-cost consultation.

Contact The Callahan Law Firm For Help Claiming Lost Wages

Proving lost wages resulting from an accident in Texas can be a complex process that requires diligent effort. The financial losses stemming from missed work are often significant, especially if the injuries cause long-term or permanent impairment. It is important for injured parties to seek legal consultation from experienced attorneys to navigate the challenges and leverage their knowledge to build a compelling case.

Whether you’ve experienced a work injury, car accident, or some other type of personal injury, contact The Callahan Law Firm today to schedule your no-cost consultation.


How do I claim for loss of earnings?

To claim for loss of earnings, you need to gather documentation that proves your lost income, such as pay stubs, tax returns, or a letter from your employer detailing your earnings before and after the incident. You’ll also need to provide evidence of the circumstances that led to your loss of earnings, such as medical records in case of injury or accident.

What is considered a loss of income?

Loss of income refers to the financial detriment incurred when an individual is unable to work or earn wages due to various reasons such as illness, injury, or other unforeseen circumstances. It encompasses not only the actual wages lost during the period of inability to work but also potential future earnings that may be affected by the incident. Loss of income can include salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, and any other sources of income that would have been earned if not for the event causing the loss.