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How do you calculate lost wages?

When you suffer a serious injury and need to recover your medical expenses, you also need to think about restitution for any wages that you lost. Being unable to work after an accident is a form of damages that a person can recover in a personal injury claim. 

The way that you calculate your lost wages will vary based on your rate of pay. A claim for lost wages needs substantive evidence supporting it. 

Hourly or salaried wages

Lost hourly or salaried wages should be fairly straightforward. You can compute lost pay based by multiplying the number of days that you missed work by the amount that you earn each day. 


Calculating lost wages based on commission is a little more difficult than salaried or hourly calculations. In general, plaintiffs may be able to prove lost commissions by providing evidence about what type of commission they have historically earned. Depending on what type of products or services a person sells, it may be necessary to account for some seasonal variation in commission averages. 

Future wages

If an injury causes long-term or total permanent disability, it may be possible to seek damages for wages that a person hasn’t earned yet. Theoretically, people could get damages equivalent to their annual salary multiplied by the number of years that they would have continued working but for their injury. 

Ultimately, there’s no single approach to calculating lost wages because each individual’s circumstances are different. The best way to reach an accurate calculation is to use an readily understandable analysis that aims to reach a fair and equitable figure. 


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