Colorado motorcycle accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents to get involved in. Due to the fact that bikers often have little to no protection on their motorcycles, whatever accidents they are involved in have a tendency to be pretty bad.
A motorcycle accident will often involve a collision between a motorcycle and a car, an SUV, or in very serious situations, a truck. In all of these situations, the motorcycle is at a distinct disadvantage, since it is sharing the road with vehicles several hundred pounds heavier. All of this combines to show that there is a real risk of serious injury in a motorcycle accident.
If you have been injured in an accident such as this, it is more than likely that you will be facing significant time away from work. That translates to a lot of lost work hours, and a lot of lost wages.
Since our lawmakers understand it would be terribly unfair to let you lose on both ends like this, the law allows you to fight for compensation. If you have been injured in a Colorado motorcycle accident due to the fault of another person, you can claim for the wages you lost from being injured.
At Malman Law Firm, our practice is built around helping hardworking people like you ensure they do not lose on both fronts. We have helped many clients with cases like yours file personal injury claims and recover compensation for lost wages. Get in touch with us today to understand what your rights are in the event of a motorcycle accident and how you can obtain compensation.
Americans lose many work days due to injury
According to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, several million Americans lose work days due to injury every month. In January 2018 alone, 4.2 million Americans had to stay away from work due to medical and injury related reasons.
In many of these cases, the lost work hours were caused due to injuries caused by others. What is most unfortunate about the situation is, when the injury is serious, you run out of sick days to take the absence out of. This means that you would both be injured due to someone else’s fault, and lose the income that should have come to you. All in one stroke.
At Malman Law Firm, we believe no one should have to suffer this bad for an accident they did not cause. This is why we help many clients just like you to fight hard for their lost wages and ensure they do not lose at both ends.
What can you recover as ‘lost wages’?
It is important to understand what you can claim as lost wages, and what you would not be able to claim.
If you are an employed worker, wages include what you would ordinarily have been paid per hour. If you are paid according to a different consideration, per week or per month, that is what would amount to wages for you.
But you should know that in a claim for lost wages, you are not restricted to just that. You can also claim compensation for any workplace benefits you would have enjoyed during the period you were injured. You can claim for overtime wages lost, bonuses you would have earned or any commission you would have reasonably secured.
Even more important is the fact that a claim for lost wages is not limited to those in regular employment alone. This means that you can claim for lost wages even though you are self-employed.
For instance, if you own a coffee shop, you should know how much you ordinarily make per period. The income you have been unable to make for that period will be calculated as your lost wages. Although proving this can sometimes be difficult, your Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer can help you set up your claim.
What you should keep in mind is that you can bring a claim to recover compensation for any amounts you would have earned if you were not injured. That is what a claim for lost wages really is.
You need to prove what you have lost
The task of proving lost wages can be pretty simple. Then again, it can get very difficult and complicated. In a claim before the court or even with insurance loss adjusters, you would be expected to clearly show what you have lost and are now claiming.
If what you want is simply compensation for the basic wages you would have earned during lost hours, then that’s no problem. But if you are self-employed and want to prove lost wages or if you want to recover performance based bonuses, that can get tricky.
What really makes proof of lost wages difficult is the fact that they are a kind of special damages. This means that you must specifically prove what you have lost, in money terms, and you must back it up. You must prove the money amounts that you claim and show why you are entitled to them.
In general, you can provide proof for your lost hourly rate and any other lost wages by means of the following:
- Lost wages letter: Your employer can help you prove your salary at the last rate before your injury. By providing a letter that shows what you were earning, they make the process of proof much easier for you. The letter must contain your job title, description and your hourly rate at last raise.
- Past pay stubs: Next to a lost wages letter from your employer, this is the best proof of your hourly wage. It clearly shows how much you were earning and pretty much proves what you have lost.
- Past tax returns: If you have been declaring your income correctly, your past tax returns can be a reliable indicator of your past income. If you do not have copies of your returns, you can apply to the IRS or the Colorado revenue authority for copies.
- Proof of lost self-employment income: Since you basically pay yourself in this case, proof of lost wages may not be straightforward. In order to bring convincing proof here, you need to show how much you ordinarily make. You can prove this by providing your past tax returns and bank deposit history. That may not be all you need though. Consult your lawyer to find out more.
- Personal, sick days and vacation time: Depending on whether you are allowed to monetize benefits at your workplace, you may be able to claim these. If that is the case, you can show how many sick days or vacation days you would have had if you were not injured. Then, you would need to calculate the money equivalent of those days.
- Overtime, commission and bonuses: Overtime pay is earned for staying back and working a few more hours than others. In order to prove how much you have lost from not being able to work overtime, you have to show how often you work overtime. Bonuses are a bit more difficult to prove because they are tied to performance. No one really know how you will perform until you actually do. But with the aid of experts, you can show your history of work performance. This can also help with proving commissions.
- Proof of income from tips: Proving this is difficult for obvious reasons. Tips are not stable income and you may not be able to show with certainty that you would have received a set amount. It is however possible to prove this through proof of income from prior periods, such as bank deposits at the close of work. You could also prove this by obtaining a letter from your boss stating what was earned as tips on the days you were injured and how much would have come to you.
You may need to hire experts to help establish your claim
As you have seen, proof of your lost wages may be straightforward, then again, it may be extremely difficult. Proving your case means providing believable evidence. In difficult cases, there’s no better way to do this than by providing expert evidence.
For instance, you may need to hire a forensic accountant to help you prove your income as a self-employed individual. An occupational expert will be important to helping you prove what you would have earned in bonuses, commissions or overtime.
Your Colorado personal injury lawyer will be able to explain what experts you need and what you would need them to prove.
Make your claim easy by contacting the best motorcycle accident lawyers in Colorado
Our motorcycle accident lawyers at Malman Law Firm are the best at what they do. Our unique experience and track record has distinguished us as the foremost personal injury lawyers in Colorado. This has helped us win big for several of our clients with cases just like yours.
Let us add you to our success story. Call us today on (303) 733-7900 or click here to schedule a free consultation today.