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Proving Self-Employed Lost Income After an Auto Collision

Even if you are self-employed, you still deserve to be compensated for your injuries and lost wages.

When it comes to car accident cases, the settlement you receive likely needs to cover not just the cost of your medical treatment, but also any lost wages you have.

lost income while self employed

The same principle applies even if you are self-employed. According to Missouri law, you deserve to be compensated for your lost wages. So it’s not necessarily a matter of “should or should not.” However, the process for proving loss of earning if you are self-employed individuals comes with quite a few complications.

Calculating Lost Wages

Lost wages refers to any loss in your income that you sustain as a direct result of the accident, or injuries caused by the accident. If you are working for an employer, this can be a bit easier to figure out:

  • If you miss 2 months from work, then the lost wages are generally equal to two months salary;
  • If, when the compensation is negotiated you need to miss additional time off work to recover, then that amount will generally be added to the final sum.

However, if you are self-employed, whether as a freelancer, independent contractor, or sole proprietor, the process of calculating the amount for lost wages is a bit more complex. As a self-employed person, your wages are the profits you accumulate as a result of your work. However, profits aren’t usually steady, and they are greatly influenced by a lot of different factors, such as the projects you sign on, the amount of work you put in, market factors, and others.

One way to know the amount you are entitled to is to look at your profits from the following year. If the circumstances are similar (such as the number of projects you worked on, and the type of work,) it could be a good starting point. Additionally, you may want to work with an economist that could help you project the potential earning you may have lost at this time.

What Documents Do You Need?

You’ll have to prove the amount you are claiming as lost wages has a factual basis. Unfortunately, if you cannot provide any proof, the insurance company may have enough grounds to deny your claim.

Some of the documents you may need are:

  • Contracts, tax returns, receipts, and other financial proof of your earnings – it’s important to be able to trace how much you could have potentially earned while on medical treatment;
  • Letters from collaborators – in some cases, the people or companies you collaborate with could write official letters attesting to how much money they had to pay you if you were able to carry out your work;
  • Medical files – these are integral in showing you were unable to work during your treatment, and are therefore entitled to lost wages.

Speak With an Attorney

Even if you are self-employed, you still deserve to be compensated for your injuries and lost wages. Reach out to a St. Louis car accident attorney to establish the best course of action in your case. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Updated: June 27, 2019