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Calculating lost wages if you’re self-employed

You were walking through Central Park, enjoying the early spring sunshine when suddenly a cyclist who was paying more attention to the music in their headphones than the path in front of them crashes into you. When you fall, you fracture your right wrist and sprain the other, which prevents you from working at your graphic designer job for weeks.

In any New York personal injury case, you can seek damages for all losses you have experienced, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. In addition, you can request compensation for future medical treatment and any income you may lose during the healing period.

For you, the income part of the equation is problematic because you are self-employed. If your income is irregular, then how do you calculate your losses? For a salaried employee, it’s a simple matter of providing some pay stubs, but for you, it’s not so straightforward,

How to estimate future income

Depending on how long you have been working for yourself, you likely have a variety of documentation that verifies your past income. For example-

  • Income tax returns
  • 1099 forms
  • Invoices
  • Cashed checks
  • Proof of Paypal income receipt and deposit
  • Banking information

If you recently signed a lucrative contract for a job you are now unable to do because of the injury, and then include it in your assembled documentation. Lost goodwill due to your inability to keep serving your clients can also be considered an economic loss.

If your self-employment income has been regular, both in frequency and amount earned, then your tax return from last year may be sufficient for calculating damages. If, however, your business involves bonuses, growing profits, or a more sporadic revenue stream, then you may need to work with a forensic economist to help assess damages.

Having a good idea of your income losses puts you in a better position to deal with insurance companies that may try to pay you as little as possible. These companies often use a wide range of tactics to get you to settle before an attorney gets involved. If you get a continuous string of calls from them, then let them know that you want to speak to an attorney before making any decisions.

Seeking damages for lost income is more complicated when you’re self-employed, but it certainly can be done. When you hire a New York personal injury attorney, they can connect you to resources that can prove your wages and assign a dollar value to the time that you are unable to work. Your attorney will also fight to get your medical bills and any pain and suffering covered a settlement so that another party’s carelessness does not cost you unfairly. Contact Jayson Lutzky’s office if you were injured and are now unable to work. Mr. Lutzky has over 35 years of legal experience and has helped his clients recover millions in judgments and settlements in accident cases. Learn more at www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com/Accidents or call 718-329-9500.

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