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How are settlements based regarding lost wages/pain and suffering, etc. if unemployed?

Schaumburg, IL |

Going through treatments, etc. Neck and back injury. My last job was through a temporary agency. I was also employed full time prior, but laid off. Accident has caused missed interviews.
-How will lost wages be determined?
-Will it be from my previous permanent job?
-Does my education play a factor as well?
-I am still looking for work and still treating.Will this hurt my case

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Attorney answers 8


It would certainly be better if you were employed. Your attorney will do his/her best to argue that you would be working absent the injury - the chance of success will depend on the facts specific to your case. The defendant will likely argue that you wouldn't be working even if not injured, at least in the short term.

If you don't have an injury lawyer, you should get one.

Though we strive to provide accurate legal information in our answers on AVVO, our answer should not be construed as legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Our firm only forms attorney-client relationships by written agreement signed by both our firm and the client. Please seek an in-person consultation with an attorney immediately as almost all legal matters are time sensitive and failing to meet deadlines can result in adverse consequences.


You need a lawyer to discuss your questions and who will explain how to proceed, along with damages in general. Look among the qualified attorneys here at AVVO, all of whom handle personal injury cases.

Jordan Margolis, President
The Margolis Firm PC
55 W. Monroe, Suite 3555
Chicago, Illinois 60603

When An Accident Changes Your Life, We Pursue Justice For You

Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the thumbs-up icon below. Mr. Margolis is licensed to practice law in Illinois. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. You may contact the writer with these links: When an accident changes your life, we pursue justice for you.


Your questions are complex. Trust me, you'd be much better off letting a lawyer handle this for you.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


How long prior to your injury did you last work? Did you lose your last position because of the injury?It should not hurt your case, if you can show consistent earnings prior to the injury and your medical records document that you are unable to return to prior work because of your injury. You can use prior years tax returns and W-2's to document your earnings and make a case as to what your lost income is due to your injury. The other elements of your injury claim, such as pain and suffering, loss of a normal life and any permanency of your injury should not be affected. If you don't have an attorney representing you, I would urge you to consult with one to help you maximize your recovery. Insurance companies are not your friend in these cases and will pay the least amount they can to resolve your claim. I offer free consultations in such cases. Good Luck.


Lost wages will be based on the concept of employability. Quite speculative, but ... Looking for work is usually appreciated by a jury.

Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. He can be contacted at (219) 836 2200. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Padove strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.


These things are very nuanced and require the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.


We use an economist to determine future lost earnings and/or the subtly different future loss of earning capacity. There are other economic considerations, too, such as what you can no longer do around the house. Most of the calculations begin with an analysis of earnings history. Looking for work and still treating is very good for your case. There are many good lawyers from Chicago and the surrounding area here on Avvo. Take advantage of a free consultation or two and then retain the lawyer you feel most comfortable with.

I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer are not intended to be taken as legal advice. These opinions are based on New York practice. I may be contacted at 212-553-9300.

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman


Economists can be costly but in serious wage loss cases they can be necessary.

Andrew Lawrence Weitz

Andrew Lawrence Weitz




Nobody is required to offer you a settlement. A practical answer to your question would be this: settlements are bases upon what you are able to prove in court. If the insurance carrier does not believe that your lost wages are provable, you will get little or no offer. Pain & suffering is unrelated to your employments status other than the factor that your need for the money sooner rather than later may play in negotiation. Nobody is required to be nice when they negotiate either.

What will hurt your case the most is if you try to handle it yourself. Get yourself an experienced injury attorney as soon as you can.

Steven A. Sigmond
Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
345 N. Canal #1208
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 756-1186

Call (312) 756-1186 for a FREE CONSULTATION with Steven A. Sigmond, confidential and available to anyone who has been injured in an accident or hurt at work. However, a free consultation is not legal advice, nor is the answer to the question listed above or anything posted on this website. This answer is general information. Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.

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