We are always asked by our clients if they are entitled to be reimbursed their lost wages following an accident. The answer, as always, it depends ....
According to the North Carolina Court's decision in Dunn v. Custer, "compensation for lost earning capacity is recoverable when such loss is the immediate and necessary consequence of an injury."
When your claim is presented to an insurance adjuster, generally he or she will ask for two things:
- note from a doctor (preferably a Medical Doctor, not a Doctor of Chiropractic), and
- letter from your employer confirming the number of days/months lost and your average earnings per day/month.
Certainly it becomes a bit more difficult if you are self-employed. In this case, the adjuster will generally ask for your prior tax returns and business income receipts and expenses.
The best evidence at trial is evidence of Plaintiff's actual lost earnings. According to the same NC Court, there is not a "more accurate and less speculative method of proving damages for loss of time than to show the actual salary or wages lost."
Stay tuned for our next post in which we'll talk about recovering the present value of future lost earnings ...