Loss of Earnings Claim Following an Accident
Find out how much your claim may be worth
Suffering from any injury, whether in the workplace or in a public place, can be extremely traumatic and have physical and emotional consequences to your life. Regardless of your circumstance, if you have lost earnings following any type of accident, you could make a loss of earnings claim.
The information below should be useful when acquiring legal advice for compensation claims to cover your losses. Beacon Law have experience dealing with many claims and can help get you to the financial position you were in before your injury.
What is a loss of earnings claim?
Loss of earnings refers to your loss of income and future loss of earnings due to taking time off work and is a common component of personal injury claims. It is important to note that loss of earnings is based on your take-home pay and not your gross earnings because, otherwise, you would effectively be making a profit. Hence, the amount is what you would normally receive after tax and national insurance deductions (net earnings).
This should always be supported by medical evidence from a GP or medical records from hospital visits and hospital stays. Medical evidence must also show that your period of absence has been directly caused by the accident in question.
However, you also have an ongoing duty to mitigate your losses by returning to work as soon as it became possible, even if it means being placed on lighter duties. Your compensation could be negatively affected if you fail to return to work when you are able to do so.
After your period of recovery, you should go back to work. However, if your injuries deteriorate and you must take up another position at a lower pay, and it impacts your recent pay, and your long-term prospects, you will still be able to claim compensation. You will also be able to make a claim for future losses if you are forced to take on a lower paid job as a result of your injuries.
If your injury is particularly severe and it affects your ability to work in the future, you could be eligible to claim the disadvantage you have when seeking employment in the future. Similarly, if your ability to return to work remains uncertain when your case comes to trial, then you could pursue a claim for future loss of earnings compensation.
If you intend to claim either past or future loss of earnings, it is important to provide the following documentations:
· Wage slips for at least three months prior to the accident to calculate an average salary
· Wage slips for the period of absence
· Additional details of any other payments received
What can types of compensation can you claim in a personal injury case?
Personal injury compensation pay outs are generally divided into general damages and special damages.
General damages refer to the amount you will receive because of your physical pain, suffering, and loss of activities you once enjoyed. This figure is based on the type of injuries you sustained, the recovery time, as well as the impact it will continue to have on your future.
Special damages include any additional financial losses you sustained as a direct result of your accident including the following:
· Loss of earnings and any future earnings
· Travel costs to and from medical appointments
· Parking costs at medical appointments
· Costs of any care you may have needed (including care received by family members who may have had to work reduced hours to care for you)
· Rehabilitation and medical expenses required because of the accident
· Costs of support following the accident and, in the future, e.g., crutches, frames, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, physiotherapy etc
· Any alterations and modifications required to your home or vehicle or the cost of moving to an accessible home
In order to make your chances of reclaiming your losses easier, you should try to keep evidence such as receipts for painkillers you have purchased or invoices from treatment providers.
The final sum will consist of both general and special damages compensation award. You may also be eligible to receive an interim payment to cover the immediate costs of your injury.
Will you be entitled to sick pay?
If you need to take time off work due to an accident, you may have the right to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Your employer may also agree to pay you for your time off for a specific period of time, depending on the terms of your contract.
You should always check with your employer to clarify any details and they may require sick notes from your GP to support your time off work – this will be required in most circumstances.
Employees will also have the right to claim compensation for every sick day or holiday day lost because of their injuries along with any pre-booked holidays which you missed during your recovery period.
Working through an agency may mean you are not eligible for sick pay, but checking the policy of your agency is important when you have suffered from an accident.
By claiming SSP, you can ask to be paid by your employer in full for the duration of your time off work. To claim SSP, you have to:
· Have carried out work for your employer
· Taken sick leave for over four full days in a row
· Earn on average £118 per week
You may be entitled to further benefits or other disability benefits if your injury is very severe.
If you have been paid SSP, this will be taken into consideration when calculating your loss of earnings claim. A loss of earnings claim can be included as part of your claim when you obtain medical evidence. You will need to provide copies of your wage slips for 3 months or 13 weeks prior to the accident in order to calculate the losses.
If you are making a claim for an accident at work, we will usually obtain details of your loss of earnings from your employer directly.
How are loss of earnings calculated?
After you have provided the evidence of the income you have lost as result of personal injuries, the information will be used to calculate the amount you have missed out on. This would be your monthly wage multiplied by the period of your absence.
This will be calculated based on your monthly net earnings, net annual income, or net daily wages to calculate the total loss of income. It is also possible to recover any losses from any hours you regularly worked overtime. Any SSP or additional money paid (e.g. state benefits such as Universal Credit) to you will be deducted from your net earnings.
You should also try to obtain evidence that such overtime work would have been available if you had not been prevented from working because of your injuries. Lost income will also aim to take into consideration bonuses and commission you regularly earned as well as loss of possible promotions. If you were also forced to carry out a different role after being injured and it resulted in less pay, you could add this to your claim.
Any other benefits such as lost pension contributions should also be available to claim if you are able to demonstrate that you were entitled to it in the past. A particularly long extended leave could potentially jeopardise your pension, so as a result, you have a right to be reimbursed for a loss of pension claim.
Can you claim for loss of earnings if you are self-employed?
The process of claiming loss of earnings can be extremely complex if you are self-employed. You should try to inform your accountant about your inability to work as soon as you can and produce order forms, invoices, bank statements, and information of any contracts that you were assigned to work on but could not be complete due to your injury.
If you do not have an accountant, you should try to create a detailed profit and loss accounts along with tax returns covering the period of your absence including all hours worked and the details of employers you have worked for.
No win no fee loss of earnings claim
At Beacon Law, we operate all negligence claims on a “no win, no fee” basis so you don’t have to face any financial risk to give you the best chance of being successful with your loss of earnings claim.
How can Beacon Law assist?
At Beacon Law, regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA), we have developed a team of experienced legal experts. Our founder set up the original firm in 2002 and prior to this, she had handled a large amount of injury claims in other law firms. Due to our extensive years in the industry, we have been able to develop great client relationships and extend our legal knowledge massively.
If you have suffered an accident and have been unable to work as a result, loss of earnings may represent a significant proportion of your claim.
Please contact us on 0330 1332 857 if you have any questions or would like to proceed with a loss of income due to injury claim.