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Can I claim for loss of earnings if I have been involved in an accident?

Man involved in loss of earning accident with a broken leg, talking to his assigned doctor

One of the most stressful aspects of being involved in an accident is usually having to take some time off work, especially for those who are not entitled to sick pay from their company. The absence is usually immediately following the accident when symptoms are more severe, but in some cases, time off can also take place later due to a flare-up, underlying problems, treatments, or surgery. Here is our specialist advice for if you find yourself needing to claim for loss of earnings.

Can I claim for loss of earnings if I have been injured in an accident that was not my fault?

Woman looking through her empty wallet, with a calculator, forms and various cards on the desk to prove loss of earnings

Yes! If you have been involved in an accident which resulted in a financial loss due to an injury you suffered, which meant you had to take time off work that you did not get paid for, or a loss of overtime or bonus as a result of an inability to work through injury, these losses can be claimed. A claim for loss of earnings or profit can be included in a personal injury claim. For a claim to be successful and accepted then documented evidence must be provided to prove the loss, but the documents needed will depend on whether a person is employed or self-employed.

How would I prove that I have suffered from a loss of earnings?

Woman calculating loss of earnings with calculator, various forms and her glasses on a desk

An employed person will be asked to provide copies of their wage slips to show their hours of pay or salaried wage before and after the accident took place (assuming that they have returned to work after the accident took place) as evidence of any earnings that they have lost out on or are continuing to lose out on. The employer will normally be contacted by solicitors to verify the period that you were off for and to confirm that the reason you have given is the same they were told. Loss of earning claims are usually simpler than others, although they can be complicated by fluctuating hours, loss of overtime, unsociable hour payments, or bonuses.

I have not returned to work yet; can I still claim?

Yes! There is no issue if you have not returned to work yet, providing that you can still provide proof of earnings before the accident and your time off, the fact that you have not returned yet will not be an issue.

I am self-employed, will this make a difference to my claim?

Bone specialist checking over patient's broken arm to assess potential self employed income loss

A self-employed person will need to provide copies of any self-assessment tax returns and profit and loss accounts to prove your overall earnings. Self-employed claims are sometimes more complicated as it is not possible to actually see the amount of money that you have lost in the same way as someone who is employed by a company who has an obvious reduction in the amount they were paid at the end of the month.

For this reason, it is crucially important to instruct experienced solicitors who understand the variations in methods of calculation and how best to present your claim, which will depend on many factors including if you are a sole trader, in a partnership, or the director of a company. If a claim is particularly complex or high value, then it could be necessary for you to instruct an accountant to calculate your loss of earnings. Again, your solicitor will be able to advise you if they believe this is necessary.

I received full pay while I was off work, do I still have to claim?

Even if you did receive full pay during your period off work there may still be a claim to be made, but on behalf of your employer, this is often referred to as employer’s recoupment. Many employers’ contracts usually include a clause that allows them to recover sick pay when a claim is being made against a third party. It is important to consider this and make sure that you as the injured party are not in breach of your employment contract, as this could leave you responsible for those sums.

What is the current Statutory Sick Pay level?

Close-up of a doctor's note for Statutory Sick Pay with the "you are not fit for work" checkbox ticked

If you are eligible, then statutory sick pay (SSP) should be paid by an employer if their employee has been injured and is unable to work for four days or more. The current level of SSP is £94.25 per week (this is payable after three initial ‘waiting days’). This can be paid for up to 28 weeks.

Any sick pay or benefits that are received as a direct result of an injury will be offset against a claim for loss of earnings. This will put the claimant back into the position that they would have been in had the accident not happened, and avoid the possibility of a ‘double recovery’.

HNK Solicitors can help with your personal injury claim

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and are looking to claim for loss of earnings during your time of injury, HNK solicitors can help you to pursue a claim to recover your losses. Here at HNK, we offer all of our clients a free no-obligation consultation where we will be able to discuss the details of your case and advise you on if you have grounds to make a loss of earnings claim and how much you could be owed. To find out more about making a personal injury claim for loss of earnings, contact us on 0151 203 1104 or email us at enquiries@hnksolicitors.com.

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