One of the worst outcomes of being involved in a California auto accident is when an injured victim cannot return to work due to injuries. This is common for people who work in strenuous manual labor positions, but it can also apply to victims with serious long-term medical issues in any employment situation. Standard claim elements often include lost wages when the victim is unable to work immediately but will return in short order on the same position. These are special damage claim elements. However, general damages may also apply when there is a change in employment at a lower rate of pay or if the injury is disabling.
Lost wage claims stemming from auto accidents that can be presented in exact numbers are termed as special damages when settlements are being negotiated. They are typically calculated using the per diem method or the weekly pay records just prior to the accident. Damages are then totaled based on the amount of time missed before a claimant actually returns to work.
The calculation method gets more speculative with long-term injuries that prevent a claimant from working for an extended period or forces them to return to a lesser-paying position after rehabilitation. This gets even more complicated when the injured party is left disabled. At least a portion of this compensation is termed as general damages that will also be lumped with any pain-and-suffering compensation allowance. General damages are actually the compensation that makes many victims of car accidents financial whole when all is said and done in most cases.
Financial recovery for lost wages is also a common claim element that makes some accident injury cases more valuable than others. Individuals who earn a significant wage can usually claim extensive damages, and negligent parties may also be pursued for whole damages beyond insurance coverage maximums.