October 22, 2017

Wage Loss

When a plaintiff claims wage or income loss in a personal injury action such as a car wreck, the defendant will seek to discover plaintiff’s employment records and business records, if self employed, in good faith in order to substantiate plaintiff’s wage or income losses, which is necessary to the ascertaining of plaintiff’s damages.

The plaintiff may object to discovery because of privacy. Anything produced in discovery becomes public. The plaintiff may not want the world to know how much money he makes, his assets, his performance reviews. If the defendant reasonably believes that an entity has the records or information from the records, the defendant can make a motion to discover records from the entity despite plaintiff’s objections.

According to the evidence code, a party seeking the discovery or disclosure may file a written motion with the appropriate court upon written notice to the entity which has custody and control of the records. In a motion, the parties in the case are notified of a court hearing to argue whether or not the motion should be granted. A party opposing the motion may provide an opposition giving case law and facts why the motion should not be granted. This provides due process, though may create delay in the resolution of an injury victim’s lawsuit.

Usually a plaintiff claims wage losses as a result of not being able to work because of his injuries from an injury incident. For example, a bartender injured in a car accident may not be able to work because he is not able to stand for long hours because of back pain from the car wreck. Plaintiff will make an injury demand based on how many days he was off work, and the lost earnings.

To substantiate plaintiff’s wage losses, defendant will seek to discover any and all employment records including, but not limited to employment applications, employment contracts, performance reviews or evaluations, reprimands, commendations, employment histories, resumes, wage and/or payroll records, promotion or demotion documentation, and/or any other documents whatsoever related in any respect to the employment of the plaintiff at anytime up to and including the present. If the plaintiff is self-employed, the defendant will seek to discover tax returns, appraisal of business, customers turned away, days business closed, business lines, and financial statements.

The wage loss and business records are material to the resolution of the lawsuit.

To get through a wage loss claim with poise, engage an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney.

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