You were the victim of a wreck and have missed work because of your injuries and your doctor’s appointments. This is a very stressful time and missing work means you miss out on income you would have made. How do you keep track of the time lost from work to make sure you are compensated

What Are Lost Wages? images of wages seen through glasses

"Lost wages” is the money you would have made had you not had to miss work due to the injuries that someone else caused. Lost wages are a part of the damages that you have incurred because of what happened to you and are recoverable in a case against the person or company at fault for your injuries, our Dallas personal injury attorney explains.

How Do You Calculate It?

For example, you work full-time and your hourly rate is $17.00/hour and you have lost 2 full days of work and 3 half-days of work. If you missed 28 hours of work, then your lost wages equal $476.00. You will need to make sure you have documentation showing 1) the number of hours you normally work, 2) your rate of pay, and 3) proof that you did not make the wages you normally would have. For most people, all that is needed are copies of your past pay stubs and the pay stubs for the time period you missed. 

In case you were wondering, a W-2 is the form you get if you are an employee, and a 1099 is the form you get if you are a contract laborer. They show your actual earnings from that employer.

I always suggest keeping in your list the reason you missed work that day. For example, medical appointments, dealing with car inspection, court proceedings, or pain from your injuries. 

Can Lost Wages Be Included In The Settlement?

Yes. Lost wages, medical bills, and all the non-economic damages that come with a serious car wreck injury such as pain, stress and frustration, sleepless nights, and inability to live the life you lived before the wreck.

If there is a permanent injury that forces you to quit your job or re-train to learn a new type of job, there are ways to be covered for these as well. If necessary, we will hire the appropriate experts such as an economist or vocational rehabilitation expert to determine these damages.

If You Can't Work Like You Used To, Read This

Not being able to work as you used to is called a Loss of Earning Capacity, which is a little bit different than lost wages. Lost wages are in the past and deal with what you WOULD have made, while the loss of earning capacity deals with the effects on your ability to work in the future. Many people have both a claim for lost wages and a claim for loss of earning capacity as a result of their injuries.  

Loss of earning capacity is not being able to work like you used to and it affects your performance or compensation at work. We see this a lot where an employee is able to work but gets a demotion to a lesser position so the physical or mental demands are not as high on them. Equally, if you were a physical laborer and had to learn a desk job position, this is a loss of earning capacity. We will go over this as we see how your injuries develop. 


When your livelihood is taken away from you because someone chose to drive drunk or run a red light because they were on their phone, you need to be made whole. We know you’d give anything to not have to be in this situation. We step in to help you keep moving forward. We handle car wreck cases all over Texas and want to help you get better and get closure. Whether you or a loved one sustained a TBI, such as a concussion,  in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, or Odessa, we are here to help you. We want to see you get better and get closure.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.