You didn’t intend to stop working. Unfortunately, after a mesothelioma diagnosis, you're no longer well enough to hold down a job. Now, in addition to your serious health concerns, you have significant financial worries.
How are you going to pay for your medical care? How are you going to keep up with living expenses? How are you going to take care of your family?
Here’s how you can do all of these things. First, understand what being out of work is really costing you. Then, learn what steps to follow in order to make a fair recovery.
Mesothelioma: What You May Lose as a Result
If mesothelioma keeps you from working, this may have a devastating effect on your life. In order to prepare an effective case for recovery, it's important to think about all types of income you're no longer able to earn. This includes:
- Wages. This may be hourly or salaried pay from your employer.
- Benefits. Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement contributions, are a form of income and should be included in your recovery.
- Bonuses or other special pay. Any type of merit-based or special project pay is income and may be compensated in a mesothelioma case.
- Employer provided perks. This could include use of a company car, a gym membership, or anything else paid for in whole or in part by your employer rather than out of your own pocket.
- Self-employment. You don't have to be employed by someone else to lose income. If you're self-employed but unable to work, your lost wages are still valid.
- Earning capacity. This refers to your ability to earn income in the future. If it's reduced or eliminated because you suffer from mesothelioma, then you've suffered a significant future financial loss.
You're entitled to compensation from the time you were first unable to work due to mesothelioma until what would have been your expected retirement date.
You may be unable to work at all and be entitled to full compensation for all lost income; or you may still be able to work, but only at a job with reduced hours or with lower pay than what you earned prior to your diagnosis. Even if you're still earning an income, you've been hurt by the probable reduction and can recover this financial loss.
How to Recover Lost Wages and Other Earnings
You're going to need evidence to recover financial compensation for lost wages and other earnings. This evidence includes:
- Documentation of what you earned. You're providing evidence prior to developing mesothelioma in the forms of employer-issued pay stubs and tax returns. If you're self-employed, you may provide business records, tax returns, and bank account statements.
- Evidence from your employer. Your employer should describe exactly how your pay has been disrupted by your illness. This includes any special projects, bonuses, or raises that you likely would have earned prior to contracting mesothelioma.
- Testimony from an economist or vocational expert. These witnesses can help establish the value of your future lost income.
- Medical documentation. The detail in these records proves why mesothelioma keeps you from working.
- Documentation of your education, training, and work experience. This is relevant to whether you can do another job, even if you can’t do the one you had before the mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Your journal or personal notes. This information can document the effect mesothelioma has on your daily life and how difficult it would be for you to work.
Other things, such as your age and the frequency of your medical treatments, are also considered.
Lost income may be an important part of your mesothelioma legal recovery. Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers would be pleased to provide a free consultation about your rights and possible recovery. We'll also represent you with no up-front legal costs—we'll only be paid if your claim is successful.
To learn more about how to get all of the compensation you deserve, contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303.