Quantifying loss of income for self-employed and other claimants
The wage and salary earners among us would be familiar with the regular weekly/fortnightly/monthly pay cheque, which is the same amount every pay day, and comes in on a regular basis.
For people who have this employment arrangement, it is usually a much simpler task for your lawyer to work out how much money you have lost as a result of being unable to work due to an accident.
What about those among us with a less orthodox form of employment?
Many Australians are self-employed, are sub-contractors, or earn their income based on other payment methods such as commission, piecework and bonuses.
In the case of many self-employed people, particularly those who are sole traders, for the purposes of tax returns they will “pay themselves” a nominal wage which forms only a small part of the financial fruits of their labour.
Therefore, when one examines their personal tax returns, those documents can create the false impression that an injured person was only ever a low income earner, or that there has been no discernible loss demonstrated after an accident.
In cases such as this, it is important for your lawyer to consider the full breadth of your financial documents. It is often worthwhile, if not necessary, to obtain an expert report from an accountant who can calculate precisely what an injured person has lost by way of reduced turnover, increased labour costs, or loss of goodwill.
Unfortunately, if a large part of your income is in the way of cash payments of which there is no formal record, it can be difficult if not impossible to factor in payments of this nature when calculating your losses.
If you have an employment arrangement which is somewhat unusual, it is all the more important to obtain advice from a specialist compensation lawyer to ensure that you are properly compensated for your loss of income.
If you have been injured in an accident, and are finding it difficult to quantify your losses for whatever reason, please don’t hesitate to contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 for a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, or alternatively, make an online enquiry.
Written by Brett Watts.
Brett Watts is an Associate in Tom Goudkamp and Ruth Hudson’s Practice Group. Brett represents people who have been injured in a variety of accidents including motor vehicle claims and public liability claims.