Can I Recover Lost Wages as Part of a California Personal Injury Claim?

Judge's Gavel making verdict on money

Serious injuries often mean that a person is unable to work for at least a while. Whether you have a physically intensive job such as working in hospital or manufacturing plant, or you instead sit at a desk much of the time, the stress, pain, and loss of physical and mental functions from a serious injury can mean not only lost wages, but an inability to work in the same career or field in many cases. Under California law, however, you can pursue claims for lost wages against liable defendants in connection with a personal injury claim.

Lost Wages in California

It is not the fault of personal injury victims that they can no longer earn the same income, either temporarily or permanently, as before, and thus state law does allow plaintiffs to recover those losses in a valid personal injury claim.

Lost wages includes income that you would have received had you been able to work in the days, weeks, and months (and beyond) after an accident. You are not required to offset any sick days or vacation days that you are paid for following an accident (after all, no one intends to use their vacation days sitting in a hospital or at home recovering from an injury). This can include time away from work to see doctors and get other forms of treatment as well.

Reduced Earning Potential in California

Reduced earning potential is a bit different from lost wages, because this looks at how your lifetime ability to earn money is affected by your injuries. For example, a person who was in residency to become a surgeon and whose hands are permanently injured may not necessarily be able to show pay stubs for lost wages that will occur due to the injury. But that person will suffer a massive loss in their potential to earn income over their career as a result of the accident, and they have the right to pursue those losses in a lawsuit.

Pursuing maximum damages for reduced earning potential can be a very complicated endeavor, requiring a showing that the victim would indeed be likely to earn a specific amount claimed over their lifetime had the accident not occurred, thus potential plaintiffs are encouraged to work with sophisticated personal injury counsel who can make an aggressive and compelling case for all such losses.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in the Inland Empire

At McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, our personal injury team – led by by partner Cory Weck, a Marine Corps officer with over 20 years of service to his country and 15 years of experience litigating personal injury cases – has repeatedly won verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients across the Inland Empire in the millions of dollars. Our attorneys understand that the fear, anxiety, and pain that you and your family are going through following a personal injury, and we are dedicated to doing everything we can to help our clients get the help they need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

Take The Next Step

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today