Being in a car accident is a terrible event for anyone; however, for a self-employed individual, it can be devastating for their business. Many self-employed individuals do not have employees or others to turn to if they cannot work. For many, their business ceases if they are unable to work. Even for those who have employees, operating a business when you are recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident can be impossible.
Self-employed accident victims face a variety of issues that are unique to them because they are in business for themselves. Many do not have disability insurance or workers’ compensation coverage. Therefore, proving their lost income is crucial so that they can recover the money they lost because of another driver’s negligent driving behavior. Our experienced New Orleans car accident attorneys can help.
Issues Faced by Self-Employed Car Accident Victims
When you operate your own business, you face certain challenges that many other people injured in a car wreck do not face. For example, it can be difficult to avoid “working” when you operate a business. Even if the doctor said you could not work, it is difficult to avoid dealing with clients, customers, and employees. If you have employees, you must continue to manage those employees if you do not have anyone who can do this for you. Unfortunately, an insurance company can use the evidence that you continued to be involved in the daily operations to deny your lost income claim.
Another potential problem is when a person has irregular or seasonal work. When your business involves “slow” periods, it can be difficult to prove that you lost money because you could not work. The insurance company may argue that you are in a “slow” period; therefore, you did not lose income or lose as much income as you claim.
Providing documentation for lost income can be difficult for a self-employed accident victim. Most accident victims can obtain a statement from their employer providing the exact amount of lost income because of the injury. Others have pay stubs to prove what they were earning before the accident. Because you are the “boss,” writing a letter for yourself is not an option. If you do not have actual pay stubs, you must generate detailed profit and loss statements that can substantiate your claim.
How Can We Help?
Because we understand the evidence necessary to prove a lost income claim, we can guide you in obtaining the evidence needed to prove your claim. In some cases, we may advise hiring a financial expert to provide statements that estimate the lost wages based on past tax returns, profit statements, and bank records.
If you are injured in a car accident, we urge you to seek competent legal counsel before accepting any settlement offer. You owe it to yourself to get the facts and to learn about your options before agreeing to a settlement.
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for more information. Call our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.