Car or truck accidents can result in serious injuries such as, spine and back injuries, head injuries and fractured bones. Jobs can be placed in jeopardy when victims of car or truck accidents lose time from work.
Delaware Law Allows for Recovery of Damages as a Result of Injury in a Car/Truck Accident
When an accident is the fault of another driver, Delaware car and truck accident law may permit an injured party to recover for all resulting economic and non-economic damages. Generally, non-economic damages cannot be quantified. They include pain and suffering damages or financial compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, etc.
Economic damages are those which can be quantified in some way. Common types of economic damages include:
- past lost wages,
- future lost wages,
- past medical expenses, and
- future medical expenses.
This article is the first part of a series of articles which will explain damages recoverable in a Delaware car/truck accident negligence lawsuit. This first article will discuss recovery of lost wages only.
Recovering Past Lost Wages in a Delaware Car/Truck Accident Lawsuit
After a car or truck accident in Delaware, medical bills and lost wages will be covered by PIP (personal injury protection) if you have a Delaware car insurance policy.
Delaware car insurance law requires a minimum of $15,000 in PIP benefits per person, $30,000 per accident. In cases of very serious injury, where the medical bills and lost wages exceed PIP limits, the injured party can make a claim against the negligent driver for those losses.
Past lost wages are generally simple to calculate. Employers can provide wage statements, pay stubs, etc. In addition, tax returns can demonstrate the difference between pre-accident and post-accident annual salaries.
In certain circumstances, a claim for past lost wages in a Delaware car/truck accident case may include loss of employment opportunities, provided the injured party makes reasonable attempts to mitigate the losses.
For example, a person who is a realtor and unable to complete sales and closings as a result of injuries sustained in a car or truck accident may be able to make a claim for lost employment opportunities.
In addition, those who are self-employed or work as independent contractors can also make lost wage claims. The plaintiff in a civil action bears the burden of proof, so lost employment opportunities and lost wages must be proven with sufficient evidence or evidence of predictable income.
Recovering Future Lost Wages in a Delaware Car/Truck Accident Lawsuit
A claim for loss of earning capacity or future lost wages can be made in cases where the accident victim is unable to return to work or can only return to work on a limited basis or with restrictions.
For example, an office worker who sustains a head injury can make a claim for all past and future lost wages if he or she is unable to return to work or can only work a few hours a week. This would include future lost fringe benefits.
Like with past lost wages, when making a claim for future lost wages or loss of earning capacity, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. Such damages must not be speculative and must be proven with sufficient expert evidence.
Related articles by a Delaware car/truck accident lawyer:
- Delaware No-Fault Car Insurance | Delaware No-Fault Truck Insurance Coverage
- Delaware Personal Injury Protection (PIP) | DE No-Fault Car Insurance Statute
Delaware Car & Truck Accident Lawyer with Over 30 Years of Experience
Since 1982, firm founder, Martin Knepper, has served residents of Delaware in all personal injury matters, including car accidents and truck accidents. Contact our accident lawyers today and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658.1717
Our lawyers serve residents throughout the Delaware area, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. For more information, please contact us.
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