April 10

What is a Loss of Earnings Claim?


A loss of earnings claim arises when you are injured, by another’s negligence, and need personal time off from work to rest, recover, and/or go to doctor appointments.  For example, if you’re in a car accident, you weren’t at fault, and you had to take a week off of work to rest, and then you had to take another 20 hours off to go to doctor appointments, then you’d be entitled to claim 1.5 weeks off as a loss of earnings claim.  The exact dollar amount will depend on if you are paid hourly or are on salary, and your wage amount.

What If I Used PTO Hours?

No problem.  We’ll just need documentation from your HR department to show that used PTO hours for your time off work.  Most employers get skittish when they receive letters from attorneys’ offices, so usually, the most efficient way to gather evidence for your loss of earnings claim is if you request:

  • Your pay stubs which document the time that you missed.  Your pay stubs will also provide evidence of your hourly wage or salary amount
  • A letter from your HR department demonstrating your use of PTO hours, if applicable

Common Pitfalls

The first piece of advice that I give clients regarding loss of earnings claims is that if you can work, you should go to work.  It might be painful, but insurance companies fight tooth and nail to not pay wage loss claims and will drag out the process as long as they can.  This can be stressful to many people as they may be without those earnings for a prolonged period of time. 

How do you know if you can work?  Simple – talk to your doctor.  If your doctor thinks you shouldn’t work, then you probably shouldn’t work.  If you feel like you can’t work and your doctor won’t place you off work, then I’m recommend getting a second medical opinion.   

If you are forced to take time off of work, detailed evidence is vital.  The first key component is getting a note from your doctor placing you off work, putting you on light duty, or something similar.  If your employer doesn’t offer light duty, then you probably will need to simply take time off of work. 

In addition to getting a doctor’s note, you also need to communicate, in writing, to your HR department that the reason you have to take off of work is because of your injuries from your accident.  Most companies simply designate time off as either sick leave or personal time.  I’ve actually had insurance companies say ‘the HR records show that he took sick leave the day of the collision, so how do we know that he was actually hurt and not just sick?’  I’ve had insurance companies argue this even when my client had a doctor’s note.

At Justice On Demand, we have significant experience, and results, in recovering loss of earnings claims for our clients.  We do everything in our power to get the best results possible for your case.  If you’re unsure if you need an attorney or don’t think that you can afford one, don’t worry.  All of our initial consults are 100% free and we work on contingency. 

This means that we only get paid when you get paid.  You’ll never have to come out of pocket for your legal expenses.  We do better when you do better, and our fees are never larger than what we put in your pocket. Give us a shot as we’re 100% risk free.


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