How Can Unemployment Affect Your Personal Injury Claim in New Mexico?

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Injuries

Wage loss can make up a large portion of a personal injury claim if the accident is so severe that it impedes a victim’s ability to work, so there are potential effects on your unemployment benefits. However, receiving unemployment does not mean you cannot receive compensation for wages that could have been earned in the future.

If you have been terribly injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact a New Mexico personal injury lawyer for an assessment of your case and legal guidance regarding your unemployment benefits.

How Receiving Unemployment Benefits May Affect a Personal Injury Claim in New Mexico

If you are receiving unemployment benefits at the time of your accident, it may impact the value of your personal injury claim. It will likely reduce the compensation you are able to receive because you cannot argue that your injuries have caused wage loss if you were not working at the time of your accident. If your injuries have impacted the future of your earning potential, this will be taken into consideration when determining your settlement.

Examples of injuries that may affect the future earning potential for accident victims include:

  • Back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Hearing loss and vision loss
  • Internal organ damage

When you are not employed at the time of an accident that causes severe injuries, but you were trying to return to the workforce, your personal injury attorney will use expert testimony to prove that your injuries have limited your future ability to find work. Testimony will focus on the injuries you have endured in your accident as well as your past employment, education, and experience history.

A vital component of a personal injury case involving unemployment benefits will be the amount of time that you have been unemployed. If you have been unemployed for a short time, and the reason for unemployment was not your choice, it will be simpler to connect your injuries to how your accident has negatively impacted your future job prospects. If you have been unemployed for half a year or longer, the defense will argue that there have been other circumstances that have limited your ability to find work. These challenges will be evaluated in determining the value of your personal injury claim.

Impact on Victims Who Are Not in the Labor Force

If you were unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits and were not actively seeking a job, you may be classified as not in the labor force. In this case, you are not eligible for compensation involving loss of wages or future earning potential because your injuries are not the cause of your lack of employment.

How Unemployment Affects Special Circumstances in a Personal Injury Claim

If you are a special caregiver or a stay-at-home parent, your lost wages are calculated based on the monetary value or the type of work you provide for your household.

This includes the following:

  • Cooking meals
  • Grocery shopping
  • Caring for children
  • Transporting children to school or extracurricular activities
  • Cleaning and performing household maintenance
  • Paying bills and managing finances

In circumstances where you have had to let go of a housekeeper or nanny because of your injuries, this cost may be evaluated in your damages. If your spouse has had to increase household responsibilities at the cost of work hours, this can also be taken into consideration. This also applies to those who are caretakers for the elderly or disabled spouse.

If you are working as a full-time freelancer or self-employed at the time of your accident, your claim for lost wages is based on your previous earnings. However, if your earnings are new, you will need to provide an alternative way to document the loss of past and future earnings.

This may include the following documents:

  • Copies of invoices
  • Copies of contracts
  • Correspondence
  • Bank statements

You may also use expert testimony to assess the value of your business and future loss of income that resulted because of your injuries.

Speak with a New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer at Dominguez Law

Experiencing an accident can be a physical and financial burden. When your injuries are caused due to the carelessness and negligence of another party, you need an experienced New Mexico personal injury lawyer to advocate for you. When unemployment benefits may be affected by your personal injury claim, you need expert legal counsel from the legal team at Dominguez Law.

The lawyers of Dominguez Law are compassionate and aggressive in helping you receive the compensation you deserve based on the circumstances of your injury. We understand how to navigate personal injury law as it pertains to unemployment benefits in New Mexico. Contact a knowledgeable lawyer today about your situation at (505) 317-9837 or fill out our contact form. We also speak Spanish.