How to Claim Lost Wages from Car Accident Cases

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, often leading to physical injuries that may prevent you from working. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are unable to earn your regular income, you may be entitled to claim lost wages. Understanding how to claim lost wages from car accident suits is crucial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

At Wyant Law, we are committed to helping you recover lost wages resulting from a car accident. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps involved in claiming lost wages, including the necessary documentation, the role of insurance companies, and the legal avenues available to you. Whether you are dealing with a minor injury or a severe condition that requires long-term recovery, knowing your rights and the correct procedures can make a significant difference in your financial stability during this challenging time.

Understanding Lost Wages in Indiana Personal Injury Claims

In the aftermath of a personal injury, victims often face numerous challenges, one of which is the loss of income due to an inability to work. In Indiana, as in many states, the concept of lost wages is a crucial component of personal injury claims, and knowing how to claim lost wages from car accident suits is crucial to being made whole.

What Are Lost Wages?

Lost wages refer to the income a person would have earned if they had not been injured and, as a result, unable to work. This includes not only regular wages or salary but also overtime, bonuses, commissions, and other forms of compensation. In the context of a personal injury claim, lost wages are considered a form of economic damages, which are intended to compensate the victim for financial losses directly resulting from the injury.

Types of Lost Wages

Lost wages can be categorized into three main types. The first type is past lost wages, which refers to the income that the victim has already missed out on from the time of the injury until the present. Calculating past lost wages is relatively straightforward because it involves actual past income. The second type is future lost wages, representing the income the victim is expected to lose in the future due to the injury. Estimating future lost wages can be more complex, often requiring expert testimony and financial projections. The third type is the loss of earning capacity, which pertains to the reduction in the victim’s ability to earn income in the future. This is particularly relevant in cases where the injury has resulted in long-term or permanent disability.

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Calculating Lost Wages in Indiana

Calculating lost wages in Indiana involves several steps and the collection of various types of evidence. Initially, the injured party must provide documentation of their employment and earnings prior to the injury. This documentation can include pay stubs, tax returns, and employer statements. Additionally, medical evidence is crucial; medical records and testimony from healthcare providers are necessary to establish the extent of the injury and the expected recovery time or any permanent disability.

For future lost wages and loss of earning capacity, expert testimony is often required. Expert witnesses such as vocational rehabilitation specialists and economists may be called upon to provide their professional assessments. The calculation of lost wages involves comparing the victim’s pre-injury earnings with their post-injury earning potential, if any. By thoroughly documenting these aspects, a comprehensive calculation of lost wages can be achieved.

Legal Requirements and Challenges

In Indiana, to successfully claim lost wages, the injured party must meet several legal requirements. Firstly, the plaintiff must prove that the injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence or wrongful act. Additionally, the plaintiff must provide evidence that they are unable to work due to the injury, which typically requires medical documentation. Finally, the plaintiff must establish their pre-injury earnings and demonstrate any reduction in income resulting from the injury.

Mitigating Factors

Indiana law also requires injured parties to mitigate their damages. This means that the victim must take reasonable steps to reduce their losses. For example, if the victim is able to perform some form of work, even if it is different from their previous employment, they are expected to do so. Failure to mitigate damages can reduce the amount of lost wages recoverable.

Lost wages are a significant aspect of personal injury claims in Indiana. They aim to compensate victims for the financial losses they suffer due to their inability to work following an injury. By understanding what constitutes lost wages, how they are calculated, and the legal requirements behind how to claim lost wages in a car accident suit, victims can better navigate their personal injury claims and seek the compensation they deserve. 


My husband and I were involved in an auto accident. The driver that hit us was without a doubt at fault. In less than 2 days we were getting calls from the driver’s insurance company wanting us to accept 15% fault. The calls kept coming to try and push us into a settlement. We decided to get legal help and found Chris Wyant. Once Chris took over we felt a big load lifted. He is very knowledgeable, well prepared and makes everything so much easier to understand the process. Chris has a very diligent work ethic that gets results. We are so very grateful to have found Chris. We highly recommend Chris Wyant.”

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Chris was awesome from the very first meeting. Very professional and knowledgeable. He knew what needed to be done and what he needed from us. He was exceptionally easy to work with and very patient with all of the questions we had. All we had to do was either call or email him with a question and he responded as quickly as he could. I couldn’t be happier with his services. I would definitely recommend his practice to anyone."

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God Bless Wyant Law. I can honestly say that Chris went to bat for me in such a huge way during such a trying time. He was very professional and upfront about every step he took. I would 100 percent recommend Wyant Law for your legal needs."

- Briana Shouse

Step-by-Step Process to File a Claim

To file a claim, begin by seeking immediate medical attention. This is crucial to ensure your injuries are documented from the outset, establishing a clear connection between the accident and your inability to work. Next, notify your employer about the accident and your injuries, and request a written statement detailing your position, pay rate, work schedule, and the duration of your absence due to the injuries.

Gather all necessary documentation, including medical records, pay stubs, tax returns, and the employer statement. Make sure all documents are clear and comprehensive. Then, consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights, gather additional evidence, and navigate the legal process.

Submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, including all collected documentation to support your claim for lost wages. Your attorney can assist in drafting and submitting this claim to ensure it is thorough and accurate. Be prepared for negotiations, as the insurance company may offer a lower settlement than you deserve. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to ensure fair compensation.

If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit to compel the insurance company to offer a reasonable amount for your lost wages and other damages. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will prepare all necessary documentation and represent you in court. Ensure all your records are organized and ready for presentation.

Tips for a Successful Claim

To ensure a successful claim, it’s crucial to keep detailed records. Maintain a file that includes all accident-related documents, such as medical records, receipts, and any correspondence with your employer and the insurance company. Following medical advice is also essential; adhere to your doctor’s recommendations and attend all follow-up appointments. This demonstrates your commitment to recovery and supports your claim. Additionally, document everything by keeping a journal of your injuries, treatment, and how the accident has impacted your ability to work and carry out daily activities.

By following these steps and providing the necessary documentation, you can effectively claim lost wages resulting from a car accident. If you need assistance, contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to guide you through the process and help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Attorney Christopher Wyant is here to help you. 

With over 17 years of experience, Attorney Wyant has spent his entire legal career representing individuals who have been injured or killed as a result of the carelessness of others. With trial experience in over 20 jury trials, he has handled cases involving wrongful death and personal injury arising out of automobile crashes, premises liability, slips and falls, dog attacks, and civil rights violations.

Essential Elements of a Car Accident Lawsuit

To successfully bring a car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove four essential elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.

Duty of Care

The first element is establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In the context of a car accident, all drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws to prevent harm to others on the road.

Breach of Duty

The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty of care. This can occur through actions such as speeding, running a red light, driving under the influence, or any other form of negligent or reckless driving.


To establish causation in a personal injury case, it is not sufficient to merely demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. The plaintiff must also prove that this breach directly caused the accident and the resulting injuries. Causation consists of two components: actual cause and proximate cause. Actual cause, also known as “cause in fact,” refers to the defendant’s actions being the direct cause of the accident. Proximate cause involves showing that the injuries sustained were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions. Both elements must be proven to establish causation.


Finally, the plaintiff must show that they suffered actual damages because of the accident. These can include physical injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other losses.

Damages Awarded in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Once liability is established, the next step is to determine the damages that may be awarded. Damages in a car accident lawsuit can be categorized into three main types: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to tangible, quantifiable losses that have a specific monetary value. Beyond lost wages, these damages encompass a range of costs, including medical expenses and property damage. Medical expenses cover costs for emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical care related to the accident. Property damage includes the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle and any other personal property affected by the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate for more subjective, non-monetary losses that a plaintiff might experience. These include pain and suffering, which covers compensation for physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident and injuries. Another type is the loss of consortium, which provides compensation for the negative impact on the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse or family members. Emotional distress is also included, offering compensation for psychological impacts such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Punitive Damages

In some cases, the court may award punitive damages. These are not intended to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or reckless behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are less common and typically awarded in cases involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

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Getting You the Compensation You Deserve

Navigating how to claim lost wages in a car accident claim can be challenging, but with the right approach and proper documentation, you can secure the compensation you deserve. Remember to seek immediate medical attention, notify your employer, gather all necessary documentation, and consult with an experienced attorney. At Wyant Law, we are dedicated to helping you through every step of the process, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for your lost wages.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Indiana and need assistance claiming lost wages, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Wyant Law today for a free consultation and let us help you get back on the road to recovery.