How to Calculate Lost Wages

If you are forced to miss work due to an accident or other incident that is not your fault, you may have a lost wages claim against an individual, business or insurance company. In order to assess a lost wages claim, you must provide proof of your pay and a calculation of lost wages based on your scheduled work hours or averaged work hours if your hours are not the same every week. Providing a clear, accurate calculation of lost wages along with paperwork to support your claim is key to receiving the entire amount of your loss.

Salaried Employees

Step 1

Divide your annual salary by 2,080 in order to achieve your rate per hour. For example, if you make $60,000 a year, then $60,000 divided by 2,080 equals an hourly rate of $28.85.

Step 2

Multiply the number of work days missed by 8 to get the total number of work hours missed. For example, if you missed a week of work, then 8 hours times 5 working days equals 40 hours of work missed.

Step 3

Multiply the hourly rate determined in Step 1 by the number of hours missed determined in Step 2 to determine lost wages. For example, 40 hours times $28.85 equals total lost wages of $1,154.

Hourly Employees

Step 1

Determine the total number of regular hours missed from work. If your hours vary from week to week, you can take an average of the last 2 months of work or use the hours you were scheduled to work, if your employer assigns scheduled hours prior to a work week.

Step 2

Determine any overtime hours you would have worked. If you consistently work overtime, take an average of overtime hours worked over the prior 2 months, or use scheduled overtime hours, if available.

Step 3

Multiply the total number of regular work hours missed by your hourly rate. For example, if you missed 40 regular work hours and your hourly rate is $12, then 40 times $12 equals $480 in lost regular wages.

Step 4

Multiply your hourly rate times 1.5 to determine your overtime rate. For example, $12 times 1.5 equals an overtime rate of $18 an hour.

Step 5

Multiply the overtime hours lost by the overtime rate calculated in Step 4. For example, if you lost 5 hours of overtime pay, then 5 times $18 equals $90 in lost overtime wages.

Step 6

Add the lost regular wages and lost overtime wages together to obtain total lost wages. For example, $480 plus $90 equals total lost wages of $570.


Always supply paperwork to support your claim for lost wages.

Things You'll Need

  • Annual salary or hourly pay rate

  • Hours missed from work