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How are lost wages and lost compensation different?

A serious injury because of an automobile collision can cause you to miss work for weeks while you receive medical treatment. Not being able to work can deprive you of compensation which in turn could put you in a bad financial situation. This is why you will probably seek lost wages and lost compensation in your injury case.

Lost wages and lost compensation sound like they are identical concepts, but they do have some differences. FindLaw explains what distinguishes one from the other.

Defining lost wages

If you try to claim lost wages in an auto accident case, you are seeking to secure your wages from the time your injury occurred to the time you reach a settlement. By providing your recent pay stubs, your W-2(s) or last year’s tax return, you may be able to demonstrate what you should have earned had it not been for the accident.

You can also recover lost wages if you are self-employed. In this case, you would need to produce a copy of your last year’s tax return, invoices or other documents that show how much you earn as a self-employed person.

Defining lost compensation

While wages can be a form of compensation, there are other forms of compensation besides wages. Non-wage compensation usually falls under the umbrella of lost compensation. When you sustain an injury that keeps you from going to work, you also lose out on certain perks you enjoy from your employment.

For starters, you may earn a commission due to completing a sale of goods or services. You might also earn a pay bonus due to completing an incentive in a current project. Other forms of compensation include merit pay or participation in profit sharing. In these instances, you would provide the appropriate evidence to show you would have received these perks except for your injury.

Consider your lost earning capacity

An auto accident should not deprive you of what you rightly deserve as an employee. If your injury has caused you some disability, you may also contest for lost earning capacity as well. Whatever you choose to pursue will depend on the particulars of your case.