Can I Recover Lost Wages After a Car Accident if I Am Self-Employed?

Posted in Car accidents on July 2, 2021

Being injured in a car accident can interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks. One of the most common losses is the inability to work. You may need several days off after your car accident to recover. If you suffered a temporary or permanent disability, your leave of absence can be much longer. If you lost any wages or other employment benefits because of a car accident, you may be eligible for reimbursement, even if you are self-employed.

How to Obtain Lost Wage Compensation

The law you will need to know to recover lost wages after a car accident is Nebraska’s fault law. There are fault and no-fault states, as well as some hybrids. In a fault state such as Nebraska, the person or party at fault for your motor vehicle accident will be financially responsible for paying for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. In Nebraska, all drivers must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for these expenses. In no-fault states, on the other hand, all injured victims file first-party insurance claims, regardless of fault.

If you believe that another driver or person caused your car accident, you will call that person’s auto insurance provider to file an initial claim. The insurance company will investigate the crash and assign fault. If the insurer accepts liability for the crash, it will offer you a settlement to cover your losses. It is important to consult with a car accident attorney in Omaha before accepting a settlement, however, as insurance companies are known for devaluing claims. An attorney can help you fight for the financial compensation that you deserve, including a fair amount for your lost wages.

Proving Lost Wages if You’re Self-Employed

You are eligible for a lost wage award related to a car accident in Nebraska if you are self-employed, work part-time or full-time, work for an hourly wage or a salary, or are a regular or seasonal worker. To receive an award for your past and future lost wages, you will need to provide the insurance company with evidence of this type of loss. You or your lawyer will need to prove that you were unable to work because of the car accident and your related injuries, or that you couldn’t work because you were undergoing medical treatment.

Proof of lost wages as a self-employed person may include:

  • Billing statements
  • Invoices
  • A calendar of events or your work schedule
  • Proof of projects or meetings you had to cancel
  • Emails or electronic messages about conferences you couldn’t attend
  • Income tax returns from previous years
  • Medical records and a note from your doctor proving your injury

Proving lost income can be more difficult if you are self-employed than if you are regularly employed by someone else. You will need to prove how much time at work you lost because of your injuries, as well as what you foreseeably would have earned had you been able to work during that time. If you only work sporadically, you may need to prove your lost wages by proving what you make in a normal year, then dividing this into a weekly wage.

Don’t Forget Future Lost Capacity to Earn

It is important not to forget to seek financial reimbursement for future lost wages in addition to any income that you have already lost due to your car accident injuries. If you suffered an injury that will continue to interfere with your ability to work, you will be eligible for financial compensation for loss of the capacity to earn until you are able to work at full capacity, if this is possible. Proving future lost wages often requires financial statements as well as evidence that you have an incapacitating injury with a degree of medical probability.

For professional assistance establishing lost wages after a car accident as a self-employed individual, contact an Omaha personal injury lawyer.