By Stephen Anderson. Last Updated 27th October 2023. This guide shall focus on how you can go about claiming compensation for loss of earnings after a car accident. If you are injured in a road traffic accident because another road user neglected their duty of care then you may be thinking of making a personal injury claim. If your car accident personal injury claim is successful as part of the special damages head of your claim you could ask for any loss of earnings to be reimbursed.
In order to have a valid personal injury claim, you not only need to prove the accident wasn’t your fault but that your subsequent injuries were caused by the fault of the third party. Proving an accident was caused by a third party who owed you a duty of care would require providing evidence. This is something we will discuss as we go through the guide.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are thinking of making a claim, call our advisors today for free legal advice. They may even connect you to No Win No Fee solicitors who could help you in making a claim.
How to get in touch:
For information about how to claim loss of earnings after a car accident please read through the sections.
Select A Section
- What Are The Criteria For Claiming Loss Of Earnings After A Car Accident?
- Can I Claim For Loss Of Other Pay And Benefits?
- How Do You Claim For Future Loss Of Earnings?
- What Evidence Do I Need To Prove Loss Of Earnings In A Car Accident Claim?
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For My Car Accident Claim?
- Make A No Win No Fee Loss Of Earnings Claim
- Learn More About Claiming Loss Of Earnings After A Car Accident
All road users owe each other a duty of care. They must use the roads in a way that avoids causing injury to themselves and other road users. Additionally, they must adhere to the relevant rules found in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code.
To be eligible to make a personal injury claim, such as a car accident claim, you will need to prove:
- Another road user owed you a duty of care.
- This duty was breached.
- Due to this breach, you suffered an injury.
If you meet this eligibility criteria, you may also be able to make a loss of earnings claim. Any loss of earnings you have suffered would be compensated under special damages as part of your compensation settlement. However, you would need to provide evidence of your lost earnings with documents such as your payslips.
For more advice on claiming for loss of earnings after a car accident, you can contact our advisory team.
What Is The Time Limit For Car Accident Claims?
If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim, you must start proceedings within the relevant time limit. Generally, you have three years to start a claim after the car accident. This time limit runs from the date of the accident that caused your injuries.
However, for certain car accident claims, there are exceptions to the limitation period. These include:
- Those who lack the mental capacity to make a claim for themself. For these claimants, the time limit will be suspended indefinitely. During this period, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim for them. However, if a claim had not been made on their behalf and they regain this mental capacity, they will have three years from the date of recovery to start one.
- Those under the age of 18. For these claimants, the time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. Before this, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf. However, if they turn 18 and a claim has not been made, they will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to start one.
What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Claim?
To successfully prove your claim, it’s necessary to back it up with evidence. Here are different types of evidence you could provide:
- Photographs of the situation and injury
- CCTV footage
- A report in the accident book
- Witness contact details (for statements to be gathered at a later date)
- Medical records
To claim for special damages, you would have to be able to prove why you were claiming for loss of earnings. You could use payslips to prove how much you usually earn.
Continue reading to find out more about loss of earnings claims. Otherwise, you can speak to an advisor about car accidents or your injury.
Can I Still Claim Compensation For Whiplash?
If you’re suffering from whiplash, a common injury associated with car accidents, it may be helpful to know about the Whiplash Reform Program. Recent changes mean that there is now a ban on settling whiplash claims without an independent medical assessment.
The changes also mean that you can now settle low-injury claims (those injuries valued under £5000) using an online portal. However, we would always recommend getting in touch with us first, as you could be undervaluing your injury.
Having to stay off work because of an injury could mean you lose out on more than just your wages. You could lose out on:
- Pension contributions – if you’re not getting paid, that means you won’t be contributing to your pension, nor will your employer. You can also claim if you are forced to retire early due to your injuries.
- Bonuses – sometimes firms offer a bonus to those who attend work consistently. If you have to take time off work sick, you could lose out on this but claim it back as part of the case.
- Sick days – perhaps you’ve been forced to use up all your sick days in one go, meaning you won’t have any left if you’re forced away from work again.
- Holiday days – it could be that in your workplace, holiday days accrue after hours worked. If you’re unable to work these hours, you could miss out on taking your annual leave.
- Overtime wages – if you work in an industry where working overtime is a large part of your earnings, losing out on this could affect your earnings.
This list is not exhaustive, though. You could lose out on other perks. When considering special damages, your car accident lawyer will assess your situation accordingly. Ring our advisors today for more information on this.
When calculating special damages claims, your solicitor could look into any earnings you may be at risk of losing in the future. For example, if you’ve been in a car accident and been off work for two months, you would have lost earnings from those past months. But if your doctor has told you to continue to stay off work for another three months, your solicitor could take this future loss of earnings into account when assessing your case.
To calculate future losses, your solicitor will first have to look at your usual annual income to see how much you could be at risk of losing. This will likely mean collecting evidence such as past payslips.
Future lost earnings may take into account any number of things:
- Possible future promotions
- Possible pay rises
Injuries sustained in a crashed car accident may mean you are unable to work for a period of time. If this is applicable, the length of time you’re unable to work may vary depending on how severe your injuries are as well as the nature of the role for which you are employed. For example, you may need to spend more time off work if your job involves manual labour. Spending time off work could lead to you losing out on income.
Some successful car accident claims may include a loss of earnings payment as part of your special damages. However, you will need to present evidence to support this part of your claim.
To prove what you would or could have earned during your recovery period, you will need to present evidence such as bank statements or payslips. It is not only your wages that can be reimbursed via special damages, but any pension contributions or bonuses too. Therefore, it’s important to keep all relevant documentation.
If, after a car accident, you are left so severely injured that you will never be able to work again, then legal professionals may calculate how much you could have earned up until the legal retirement age had you not been injured. This could be included in your special damages payment.
If you make a successful personal injury claim after a car accident you would be awarded both general and special damages. Below in the table, we have taken figures courtesy of the Judicial College. They provide a document which legal professionals use to value various injuries. It is important to note that you may not be awarded the exact amounts shown here, as each case is assessed differently according to the circumstances. For more information, get in touch with our advisors today. The figures in the table only relate to general damages.
|Arm||Serious (b)||£39,170 to £59,860||In this bracket, the claimant has suffered serious fractures to the forearms. There is a significant residual disability that is permanent in nature.|
|Neck||Severe (iii)||£45,470 to|
|The award considers the duration of the most serious symptoms, treatment required and the prognosis. Injuries in this bracket lead to chronic conditions and permanent significant disability.|
|Shoulder||Severe||£19.200 to £48,030||Significant disability that has resulted from serious damage to the brachial plexus.|
|Shoulder||Serious||£12,770 TO £19,200||This involves cases where damage may have led to dislocation. Could cause pain in shoulder, neck, elbow and hand with a possible weakness of grip and restricted shoulder movement.|
|Shoulder||Moderate||£7,890 TO £12,770||This involves cases where the shoulder has a limitation on movement, with symptoms persisting for about two years.|
|Leg||Moderate (iv)||£27,760 to £39,200||This involves cases where there may be multiple fractures. Award will be influenced by impact on employment, chances of future surgery or instability of the knee, among other factors.|
|Pelvis and Hips||Moderate (i)||£26,590 to £39,170||The claimant has suffered a significant injury, but they will not be left with major permanent disability.|
|Back||Moderate (i)||£27,760 to £38,780||Compression fractures of the lumbar vertebrae and prolapsed intervertebral disc requiring surgery.|
|Facial Scarring||Significant (c)||£9,110 to £30,090||In this bracket, the claimant has some cosmetic disability that has been reduced by plastic surgery. Their psychological reaction was either not great to begin with or has diminished to relatively minor proportions.|
|Whiplash Tariff||With minor psychological damage||£4,345||This tariff is for claimants who are expected to experience symptoms of whiplash and a minor psychological injury for 18-24 months.|
|Whiplash Tariff||Whiplash Alone||£4,215||This tariff is for claimants who are expected to experience the symptoms of a whiplash injury for 18-24 months.|
You may claim special damages as well, which would cover loss of past and future earnings. It could also cover:
- Travel costs
- Home adaptations
Special damages compensation will need you to prove that you have had to pay out of pocket. We have already looked at the evidence you could collate for loss of income, but you could provide different forms of evidence for other costs. For example, you could show receipts for any travel you may have had to do to and from the hospital. Or you could show invoices for any adjustments made to your home, such as installing a shower room.
Make A No Win No Fee Loss Of Earnings Claim
We hope this guide has shown you how to claim loss of earnings after a car accident.
If you are worried about paying solicitors fees upfront why not hire a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. No Win No Fee means that if your claim is not successful, your solicitor will not ask you for any payment for their work. However, if your claim is successful, your solicitor will take a legally capped, pre-discussed fee from your compensation amount, but only once it is paid in full.
If you’ve judged by our car accident compensation table that you could claim loss of earnings, get in touch today.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim loss of earnings after a car accident. We hope you found it helpful. See below for more relevant links.
- Public Road Accident Claims Guide – A comprehensive guide on how to claim after an accident on a public road.
- Compensation Payout Guide for Leg Fracture with Special Damages – A comprehensive guide to payout amounts for leg fractures and special damages.
- Compensation Payout Guide to Fractured Coccyx – A comprehensive guide to payout amounts for a fractured coccyx.
- Find an Accident and Emergency Service Near You – An NHS search bar for your closest A&E.
- The Motor Insurer’s Bureau – The homepage for the Motor Insurer’s Bureau, who can help you claim if the other driver is uninsured or untraceable.
- The Highway Code – Guidelines on safe driving practices.
We also have some other guides you may find useful:
- Public accident claims hot spots
- Council slip and trip accidents
- Public transport accidents
- How to make a public liability claim
- Making a claim against the council
- Claiming for a pothole injury
- Making a claim against a shop
- Accidents in a public park
- Cycling accident claims
- Claiming for injuries suffered while shopping
- Road Traffic Passenger Accident Claims
- Will The New Whiplash Claim Rules Affect My Claim?
- Is There A Minimum Speed For A Whiplash Claim?
- Can I Make A Pedestrian Claim After Being Run Over?
- Car Accident Lawyer Claims Guide – How You Could Claim Compensation?