Loss wage documentation in personal injury claims is generally straight-forward; the claimant (or Plaintiff) needs a letter from his doctor proving his inability to work for a given amount of time and either pay stubs or a letter from his employer to document his income.
Documenting lost wages for the self-employed or the MLM Professional brings a unique set of challenges. Truly passive income is not usually affected because it is indeed just that; passive. However, MLM income is generally not passive income. It does require your time and effort and is compensable if you are injured in an automobile accident.
There are many things to consider in your lost income claim; lost sales, lost recruiting opportunities and lost opportunities to motivate your team (their sales and recruiting affects your income also.) Here are some items that insurance adjusters will need to see in order to consider your claim for lost income:
1. Income Tax Paperwork: This is the most important item you can submit. Income tax returns from prior years will establish your earnings history. If you file your taxes quarterly, that is even better as the information will be timelier and that injury’s impact on your income will show up on your returns even sooner.
If you do not file income taxes, you will probably not get very far in your attempt to claim lost income as juries generally do not like people who do not pay income taxes and insurance companies know that. Do keep in mind that the lost income compensation portion of any personal injury claim is considered taxable. If you began your MLM business in the same tax period that the accident occurred in, you obviously will not be able to submit tax forms, so your record keeping should be meticulous.
2. Doctor’s Note: A note from your treating doctor or chiropractor will still be necessary and should not only indicate the required period of bed rest, but should also indicate limitations on activities such as sitting at a computer, standing or traveling such as on sales calls. The more serious your injury is the more credible your claim for lost income will be.
3. Additional Documentation: Other documentation that the insurance company might consider and that juries like to see include journals, logs or diaries. Use them to document your recruiting history and your meetings with downline recruits. Perhaps you have a website that you have been unable to manage or contribute to because of your injury. Keep your MLM-related emails and anything else. The insurance adjuster may balk at the presentation your self-employment lost income claim, but with some proactive measures, you will be successful.
Hopefully, you will never get injured and need to file a claim. But it’s always smart to play it safe and be prepared. That means you should take a few moments and keep these documents updated and accessible. Follow the advice mentioned above and you should be well prepared in the event you get injured and need to file an insurance claim.
This article is contributed by Lisa Marks, SCLA and MBA. Ms. Marks is a contributor to Insurance Claims Help For You a website that contains facts and advice to help readers understand insurance claims handling processes and eventually reach a settlement on your claim for personal injury (sometimes called bodily injury) against an at-fault party’s liability insurance carrier.