What You Need to Know About Calculating Lost Wages

Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, and the consequences can be devastating. When a person is injured in an accident that was the fault of another party, they have the right to file a claim for compensation.

calculating lost wagesUnderstandably, much of the focus of these claims is on the medical costs that are associated with treating the injuries a person has received. However, it is important to remember that many of the injuries people suffer from because of car collisions, slip-and-fall incidents, and workplace accidents lead to temporary or permanent disabilities. In addition to making it difficult or impossible to perform everyday tasks at home, these disabilities often prevent the accident victim from being able to work.

This is why people who were injured in accidents that weren’t their fault can also receive compensation for the wages they have lost and will continue to lose. Here’s everything you need to know about calculating those losses.

Organizing Documentary Evidence of Your Losses

Whether you only missed work for a short period of time due to temporary injuries or you have been unable to work at all since your accident occurred, you have missed out on money that you would have made if your accident had never happened. You deserve compensation for that missed work.

Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer will give you the peace of mind that you have somebody on your side that is doing all the challenging legal work on your claim on your behalf. In order to make it easier for them to do that for you, it can be helpful to organize the following documents, which will help to demonstrate how much money you would have earned if you had not been out of work:

  • Medical forms demonstrating your inability to work
  • Recent tax returns
  • W-2 form
  • Pay stubs
  • Employment contract or letter from your employer detailing your current employment and wages

Calculating Lost Wages

lost income due to injuryCalculating the amount of money you missed out on may be easier or more complex, depending on how much time you have missed and how you get paid. If there were only a few days when you were unable to perform your work duties, the calculation will be straightforward.

However, if you missed several weeks or months, or if you are still unsure about when and whether you will be able to work again, the calculation becomes more challenging. This is one of the ways in which a skilled Missouri accident attorney can help you. They will have the knowledge and experience necessary to estimate the amount of money you have missed out on and will lose in the future by assessing the nature of your injury, your diagnosis, and any medical information your doctor might have provided about your recovery potential.

The amount your lawyer will claim on your behalf will be based in part on whether you are paid by the hour, have an annual salary, or are self-employed.

Hourly Wages

Calculating missed wages is simple if you are paid by the hour. You simply multiply the number of work hours you have missed by your hourly wage. This will give you the total amount of lost wages you will attempt to recover.

Annual Salary

If your payment is a salaried agreement, you will have an additional step to take in your calculation. The average number of work hours in a year is 2,080. Therefore, you can find your hourly wage by dividing your salary by this number, provided you usually work a 40-hour week. You will then multiply the result by the number of hours you had to take off work.


If you are self-employed, you will claim lost income rather than lost wages. This is a complicated calculation that is best done in collaboration with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will base their assessment on the employment, tax, and expense documentation you provide.

Missed Future Income

Your injuries may also affect your future capacity to earn money. If you will be unable to work in the future, your St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the losses you will incur in the future by considering your injury prognosis, age, skills, and education level.

Contact an Experienced Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been unable to work due to an accident-related injury that was not your fault, the experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw can help you recover the wages or income you should have earned. With us on your side, you can rest assured that you have a legal team that will fight for your best interests every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.