If you have a lost-wage claim, the insurance company is going to ask for the documentation to support that.  This can be a letter signed by your employer indicating what your rate of pay is and how often you work.  If you’re self-employed, it becomes significantly more difficult to get your lost wages paid, for many reasons.  One, self-employed folks normally don’t have a salary; they get paid according to how much their companies make.  To prove a loss in profits, you have to show a decline through either your quarterly tax returns or your profit and loss statements.  Many times, self-employed folks go to treatment and just make up their time.  This won’t show a loss in income.  If you take a salary in addition to a bonus, that might be an indicator of how much you work.  This would support it.  However, the insurance company is going to ask to see your tax returns.  This is the documentation that you give the federal government showing how much you make.  If your testimony and what you’re saying conflicts with this, you will lose out.  They will argue and be successful at saying that you ought to be paid based on what you tell the federal government; otherwise it’s tax fraud.  Just be aware of this and make sure any claim you make is supported by appropriate documentation:  pay stubs, quarterly profit and loss statements, or tax returns.

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia

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