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Can a Self-Employed Person Receive Compensation for Lost Income?


Accidents are expensive. In addition to medical bills, many victims are unable to return to work, so they lose out on income. If you have a job, then it is easy to calculate the amount of income you have lost—just look at your pay stub to see how much you are paid every day and then add up the number of days you were forced to miss work.

But what happens if you are self-employed? Increasingly, Americans do not work for an employer but instead freelance or have their own businesses. However, when they are hurt in an accident, they also cannot work like they used to. Surely, they are entitled to lost income, right? One of our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers walks you through the relevant considerations below.

Yes, a Self-Employed Person Can Receive Money for Lost Opportunities

Here’s the good news: a self-employed individual is not prohibited from seeking compensation for lost income if they are injured in an accident. So you should not have to suffer financially. If you are injured by someone else, you will typically make a claim on their insurer (unless you are injured in a car accident, in which PIP insurance comes into play).

You Need to Prove Your Lost Income

Self-employed individuals do face challenges, however. In particular, you need to establish with some reasonable degree of certainty how much you would have made had you not been injured in an accident. An insurance adjuster will look much more closely at a self-employed individual, so find supporting documentation.

Here is evidence that your attorney can use to establish how much you could have made:

  • 1099 forms. Independent contractors receive these forms from their primary clients. Of course, if you are paid with a credit card, then the client does not need to issue a 1099, in which case you will need other records, such as PayPal records.
  • You might have had a contract to do a specific job, which you had to cancel because of your injuries. These contracts are very helpful at proving how much you were expecting to earn.
  • Balance sheets. These documents are less helpful, because you generate them. An insurer might assume you are inflating how much you earn. However, you can corroborate balance sheets with other information, such as bank records that show deposits.

With this documentation, your attorney can build a case that you were reasonably likely to have earned a certain amount of money had you not suffered an injury. The more consistent your self-employed income, the easier it will be to convince other parties of your financial losses.

Speak to a Delray Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

After an accident, lost income can be considerable. At Earnhart Law, our Delray Beach car accident lawyers are committed to getting our clients every last penny that they deserve in compensation, and this includes lost self-employed income.

If you were hurt in a car or other accident, contact us today. We have been offering compassionate legal guidance to the Delray Beach community for more than 30 years. Please call 561-265-2220 to schedule your free, no-risk consultation.


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