It's not uncommon for some business owners to pay their workers directly in cash outside of a payroll system, usually out of convenience or as a way to avoid payroll taxes. In addition to the severe tax liabilities that being paid "under the table" can bring, it can also have a negative impact on your personal injury case.
How Your Reported Earnings Factor Into Your Case
Many personal injury cases revolve around receiving compensation for losses related to income as well as income-earning potential. After all, someone who is injured in an on-the-job accident may not be able to earn their usual income due to their injuries and suffer a significant loss of earning capacity in later years. The jury must take this into account when calculating suitable compensation for injuries sustained as well as income and earning potential lost.
When it comes to analyzing and projecting earnings losses and calculating appropriate damages, the courts often look to the plaintiff's earnings history, normally verified through payroll and tax records. This gives the jury a benchmark upon which an equitable settlement or award can be offered. The jury may also take your education and training into account when factoring current and future earnings losses.
No Payroll Equals No Proof
Being paid under the table often means not having sufficient proof of income that could be reliably used in your personal injury case. Without this proof, a judge will be hard-pressed to provide any sort of monetary damages for your personal injury. It may even lead to the judge excluding your loss of earnings claim due to this lack of documentation.
Unreported income can also create credibility issues in your personal injury case. Being paid under the table often suggests a willingness to dodge tax responsibilities on the part of the employer and employee. It can also attract suspicions of illegal activity. A skilled defense attorney can easily turn this to his or her advantage, thereby bringing your integrity into question and making the jury less sympathetic towards your injuries and subsequent income loss.
Your Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Although being paid under the table can have many negative effects on your personal injury case, it doesn't mean the end of your case. There are many ways you can avoid the implications of unreported income, but only if you consult with your personal injury attorney. Having an experienced legal advocate by your side can improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement or award for your personal injuries.
For more information, contact a firm like Palmetto Injury Lawyers.