Can You Recover Lost Wages if You Cannot Work After an Injury?

by Gina Corena

Last Updated on September 25,2023

Can You Recover Lost Wages if You Cannot Work After an Injury?

If someone has been seriously injured in an accident and they are unable to work as a result of their injuries, they are entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses. It makes no difference whether they were working full-time, part-time, self-employed, or as a casual employee at the time of the accident—an injured party can file a legal claim to recover wages lost from the job they held at the time they were injured as well as missed earning opportunities.

When injured and unable to return to work, a person will be eligible for reimbursement for lost wages from the days they missed, payment for missed overtime opportunities, vacation days, sick days, bonuses, and other missed benefits. 

How to Recover Lost Wages When Injured?

To recover lost wages, the injured party must be able to demonstrate that they missed work due to injuries sustained in the accident, as well as how much money they would have made if they had not been injured. Proving missed work due to injuries will necessitate meticulous income documentation.

Doctors and other medical professionals will also need to provide documentation of the injuries. Additionally, the injured worker will likely need a letter from their supervisor or human resources department on company letterhead with the following information:

  • The worker’s legal name 
  • The rate of pay they were receiving at the time of the accident 
  • The number of hours and days missed due to the injuries 
  • Missed overtime and bonus opportunities

Proving lost wages for contract employees and self-employed individuals is more difficult. In these cases, it’s best to gather documents such as pay stubs that show average earnings from the time of the accident to the present. Obtaining a copy of the most recent tax return will also assist in determining how much lost wages you are entitled to recover.

Who is Liable for the Lost Wages? 

All states allow victims of accidents to recover lost wages as a result of their injuries. This includes lost hourly, salary pay, commission pay, overtime, bonuses, self-employment income, vacation or sick time that would have accrued over the period of time missed, and any other form of payment such as meal, phone, and gas reimbursement in Nevada. 

In Nevada, a defendant who is negligent in an accident can be held liable for all lost wages. If found liable, the defendant will be found responsible for the lost wages. This is typically provided as part of an insurance claim or other settlement claims.

However, if a person sustained a disability or severe injuries that left them unable to work, they may qualify for social security insurance. Additionally, if the person was injured while at work and they are missing pay due to a work injury, then they will be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. 

Workers’ Compensation 

All employees working for an employer with more than two workers are protected immediately by the Worker’s Compensation Act. When injured while on the job, a worker will be able to receive workers’ compensation. If the injury was sustained outside of work, then the business will not be liable for their injuries, and the worker cannot receive compensation through worker’s comp or the company. Compensation for lost wages is calculated by dividing two-thirds of an injured worker’s wage at the time of injury by the maximum rate set for the year of injury.


An injury can sometimes result in a temporary or permanent disability that severely limits someone’s ability to work. Individuals may be compensated for the income they will lose due to their disability. This is commonly referred to as compensation for reduced earning capacity.

The federal government does provide Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which can pay an injured person and sometimes their family members, but they must meet certain criteria:

  • They must have worked long enough in a job that contributes to Social Security (in Nevada, the cutoff is five out of the last 10 years).
  • They must be able to demonstrate that their disability will prevent them from working at their previous job or any other job for at least a year, or that doing so will result in life-threatening injury or death.

There are also other qualifications that Nevada has laid out to determine if someone is eligible for SSDI. Furthermore, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book lists qualifying injuries for SSDI. It’s a lengthy and technical list aimed primarily at medical and government professionals. Most people would benefit from the assistance of a lawyer to determine their eligibility.

Proving Lost Income

Lost Wages Law

Dealing with insurance after a car accident can take weeks or months. They require a lot of paperwork. To improve the chances of keeping them from denying an insurance claim, it is important to prove lost income through work and doctors. 

It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions and show up for appointments. One will need medical records to receive compensation for all injuries. Also, one should document their injuries, and all time they have missed at work. Insurance companies will require specific paperwork with these details.

Additionally, the injured worker will need to calculate the amount of money that was lost, which is why keeping meticulous records is necessary. Sometimes, a company can provide this, but it is also important to keep a personal log of any time missed. 

Documentation is key to proving lost income. 

Knowing How to Collect for Lost Income

In some personal injury cases, more than one party might be at fault for the accident. Understanding the concept of shared fault is crucial when pursuing compensation. In states with comparative negligence laws, the amount of compensation you can recover may be reduced based on your percentage of fault. Learn more about shared fault in injury claims and how it can impact your potential settlement.

Recovering compensation for lost income is not always easy. It requires concrete evidence and a clear showing that you would have received this compensation if it weren’t for those injuries. It is important to obtain all necessary paperwork and this can be stressful, which is why it is important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side. 

An experienced Las Vegas Accident lawyer can help prove the loss of income and can help contact the insurance companies and your place of work while you focus on recovery. Please call 702-680-1111 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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