Being injured in an accident can be a very painful experience that affects you for many weeks, months or even years. Accidents can also prove to be very costly if you cannot work while you’re injured. Importantly, if the accident was caused by somebody else and you decide to make a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings. Therefore, this guide will show you how to calculate loss of earnings for a personal injury claim.
Our team can help with this because we offer a no-obligation consultation where you’ll receive free legal advice and your claim will be reviewed. As well as checking whether you’re eligible to claim, your advisor could estimate how much loss of earnings compensation you could receive. If you agree to proceed and your claim is accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis.
Please call us on 0800 6524 881 to discuss your claim right away or continue reading to find out more about calculating compensation for loss of earnings.
Table of contents
- When Can Loss Of Earnings Be Claimed In A Personal Injury Claim?
- How Is A Loss Of Earning Claim Calculated For A Personal Injury?
- What Proof Do You Need For A Loss Of Earnings Claim?
- What Else Is Calculated Into Personal Injury Compensation?
- Further Evidence To Support A Personal Injury And Loss Of Earnings Claim
- Time Limits For Filing A Claim
- Should I Use A Personal Injury Solicitor To Calculate Loss Of Earnings?
- Starting The Claims Process
Before we look at how to calculate loss or earnings for a personal injury claim, it’s important to check whether you have the grounds to start a claim. When assessing a potential claim, our personal injury solicitors will look to ascertain whether:
- The claimant (you) was owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- You were involved in an accident (or incident) caused by the defendant’s negligence; and
- During the accident, you were injured or made ill.
If you had an accident at work or in a public place, it’s highly likely you were owed a duty of care. This will be checked by a member of our team during your consultation so you shouldn’t worry about this. Instead, you could provide evidence to prove how your accident happened, who was to blame, and what earnings you’ve lost because of it so we’ll look at the evidence you could use to do so later on.
For some claimants, calculating their loss of earnings is actually quite straightforward if they work the same number of days each month and always take home the same salary. However, if your hours are not fixed or you sometimes work overtime, calculating loss of earnings can be trickier.
Therefore, rather than basing your claim on your hourly rate or your annual salary, loss of earnings is usually calculated by taking an average of your earnings for the three months before your accident. For example, if you earned £1,500 in month one, £1,700 for month two and £1,650 in month three, your average income over the three months would be £1,616.66.
Once your average income has been calculated, that figure would be multiplied by the number of months you didn’t earn because of your injuries to establish the value of your loss of earnings claim.
If you are on a zero-hours contract or you are self-employed, the amount you earn can vary a fair bit from month to month. However, the process is generally the same as above. You’d simply need to look at how much you’d earned in the previous three months to work out your average income.
To prove your average earnings for a personal injury claim, you’ll need to submit evidence to prove your losses. This can include wage slips, bank statements or other financial documents.
If you’re a business owner or self-employed, this can be a trickier process but is still achievable. As well as looking at your bank statements, your solicitor could use your annual returns from your accountant to calculate how much income you’ve lost as a result of your accident.
We believe that you’re more likely to receive the right level of compensation for a loss of earnings claim if you are represented by one of our solicitors. They’ll use their experience and training to help calculate your loss of earnings properly to try and ensure you’re compensated correctly.
When making a personal injury claim, it’s important to consider whether you’ll continue to lose earnings in the future. This might be the case if, for example, you’ve lost a leg in an accident which has left you disabled or if your injuries mean your earning capacity is reduced in the long term.
To help determine how much you might lose in the future, your solicitor will consider your age, current salary and job prospects.
If you’re making a personal injury claim the final compensation amount will usually be based on:
- General damages (pain and suffering etc).
- Special damages (financial losses).
Therefore, as well as claiming for any loss of income or future lost earnings, you could also claim compensation for:
- Physical pain caused by your injuries.
- Distress, depression, anxiety and other mental health injuries.
- Any negative impact your injuries have on your usual activities (loss of amenity).
- Medica expenses.
- Travel costs.
- The cost of a carer.
- The cost of replacing property damaged during your accident.
- Modifications to your home to help you cope with any ongoing disability sustained during the accident.
As you can see, there’s quite a lot to consider when making a personal injury claim aside from lost earnings. If you work with a solicitor from our team, they’ll work with you to find out exactly how you’ve suffered to try and ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Before looking at the time limits that apply to making a personal injury claim, the defendant’s insurers will want to see evidence that proves how you were injured and why their client was to blame for your loss of earnings. The types of evidence that might help you to win your claim include:
- Photographs of the accident scene or of any visible injuries.
- Accident report forms.
- Medical records and x-rays from the hospital that treated you.
- Witness statements.
- Dashcam or CCTV recordings.
If you have already collected evidence to support your claim, please let us know during your free initial consultation.
When making a personal injury claim, you’ll need an independent medical assessment to prove the extent of your injuries. This will usually be arranged at a local venue and carried out by a qualified medical expert.
During your appointment, you’ll be examined by the specialist and they’ll find out how you’ve suffered because of your injuries. Their report about your prognosis will be important when calculating general damages but will also be useful if you need to claim for future loss of earnings as well.
Any personal injury claim in the UK has a 3-year time limit. This can either begin from the date you were injured or your date of knowledge (when your injuries were diagnosed).
We always suggest that you should start working on your claim as quickly as possible to make it easier to secure the evidence needed to support your claim.
Generally, if the defendant admits liability for your claim and you’ve already recovered from your injuries, claims can be settled in around 6 to 9 months.
However, even if liability is accepted, claims can take longer than a year if the extent of your injuries is not yet fully understood. In these circumstances, though, your solicitor could make it easier for you to cope with your loss of earnings by asking the defendant to pay interim payments.
That is entirely up to you of course. However, if your claim is taken on by one of our experienced solicitors, they’ll represent you using a No Win No Fee agreement. That means that they won’t ask you to pay legal fees upfront but they will:
- Assess the validity of your claim and collect supporting evidence.
- Properly calculate your loss of earnings for you.
- File the claim with the defendant.
- Negotiate and fight your corner to try and ensure you’re compensated fairly.
If the claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay any legal fees. However, if it is successful, a success fee (explained here) will be deducted from your settlement payment to cover your solicitor’s work.
To find out how to calculate the loss of earnings for a personal injury claim that you might be entitled to, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today. Your case will be assessed by a specialist and we could partner you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.
If you have any additional questions on how to calculate loss of earnings for personal injury, please use our free live chat service.