Calculating Lost Wages in an Injury Claim
If you are injured due to a third party’s fault and cannot work, you have the right to make a lost wage claim. This stands true even if you received payment from your employer in the form of vacation or sick time. Those are the benefits you earned and lost. You can also substantiate a claim for lost bonuses or benefits. However, as a plaintiff in a lawsuit, or a claimant providing information to an insurance company, you have the burden of proof.
A lost wage claim can be established in several ways; this includes paystubs, W-2s, and letters from your employer. You may also be able to establish this through the use of contracts that we’re unable to be fulfilled. One concrete item that is generally requested when making a lost wage claim is your Income Tax Returns. This holds, especially if you are a small business owner, receive tips, or are independent contractors. Income Tax Returns are incredibly helpful in this regard as they can track income from year to year and demonstrate losses or gains.
How Else Can Damages be Calculated?
What happens if you have a lost wage claim and have not filed your income tax returns? Potentially, this could prohibit you from being able to make that lost wage claim. People may find it difficult to establish lost wages for small business owners, individuals who receive tips, and independent contractors if you have not filed Income Tax Returns and should have done so. It isn’t easy to make a claim you cannot substantiate. Moreover, it is not favorably looked upon if you have failed to file Income Tax Returns.
Additionally, failure to file Income Tax Returns when required to do so could have criminal ramifications. It dramatically impacts your credibility when Income Tax Returns should have been filed and have not been. There is also the potential that the IRS could levy your settlement funds if the IRS is alerted that you have a personal injury action, owe money for outstanding taxes, and the IRS notifies your attorney.
Don’t be frustrated with your attorney if you are advised of this. Remember, your attorney wants to protect you and advise you to the best of their ability and counsel you as to possible scenarios. Ultimately, they are just looking out for your best interests.