What If I Am Too Injured To Work After An Auto Accident?
If you were injured in an accident, chances are your work life and income will be affected in some way (usually in a negative way). That could look like having to cut down on hours, limited physical ability, or not being able to work at all. Unfortunately, aside from the difficulty of recovering from your injuries, lost wages also put pressure on being able to pay for day-to-day expenses and necessary life costs.
This situation leaves many victims overwhelmed, and for good reason: for most people their job is a lifeline to support themselves and their families. If this sounds similar to what you are facing after being injured, we help clients to recover for missed time at work as well as for other accident-related losses.
Call us at 813.755.9500 or contact us online 24 hours a day for a no-cost case review with an attorney. We can discuss your accident, the nature of your injuries, and what options you have if you are too hurt to work.
What Are Lost Wages After An Auto Accident?
When it comes to accounting for harm caused to a victim in a personal injury lawsuit, lost wages can play a big part. Lost wages are often considered to be the dropoff in money from how much you earned at your job before the accident, compared to now that you are injured.
Lost wages are part of economic damages, which usually covers financial expenses or losses that you’ve suffered because of an accident. Another form of economic damages that are similar to lost wages is lost earning capacity.
While lost wages are more a loss of past, present, and future compensation, lost earning capacity is essentially a loss in your ability to make compensation in the first place. Your earning capacity could be affected if, say, you were not able to perform certain tasks (or worse, all the tasks) involved in your job after an accident.
Do I Have A Right To Recover Lost Wages After A Car Accident?
Florida Statute 627.736 protects injured victims who cannot work after an accident or have suffered missed income with Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. This is the law that gives you a right to be compensated for missed wages that you could not earn for being too injured to work at full capacity or able to work at all.
PIP is a mandatory insurance for at least $10,000, carried by all drivers with cars registered in the state. It allows people injured in an accident the chance to recover 60% of their lost gross income and loss of earning capacity.
However, 60% may not be enough, especially if you were seriously injured in an accident and cannot work. If that is the case, an attorney can discuss what options you have to get fair compensation. Accomplishing that may include filing a lawsuit for the remaining 40%, which an experienced personal injury attorney should also be able to handle for you.
Florida’s no-fault insurance system works by having injured victims file a claim with their own insurance company, no matter who caused the accident. This means your insurance carrier (or if you were a passenger or don’t have auto insurance, the vehicle owner’s carrier) should be responsible for covering at least part of your lost wages or lost earning capacity.
Who Will Pay For My Lost Income After An Auto Accident?
If you can prove that another negligent driver is responsible for causing your injuries, their insurance company may pay for the last 40% of the lost income that resulted (the amount not paid by PIP) or 100% of lost past income and future income. However, insurance companies will often deny liability as much as possible. To maximize the amount of compensation you get, you may want to hire an attorney who can handle the legal challenges and paperwork involved.
Getting compensated for a loss of income claim may require you to present your insurance company with forms of documents, some of which may be from your employer and/or a doctor. These documents typically serve as proof to show that you are unable to work and eligible to recover for the wage losses you have suffered. Specifically, you may want to be prepared to submit the following forms of proof for benefits:
- Medical proof of your injury- this could mean medical records, or a doctor’s statement that you cannot work because of your injuries
- Proof of your income- this may be in the form of tax documents or paycheck stubs
- Wage & Salary Verification form- this is typically filled out by your employer and given to the insurance company
If the negligent driver that caused your accident was in a commercial vehicle or truck when the incident happened, their employer may be responsible for taking care of your compensation. This can involve some complicated legal issues, so meet with a lawyer if you have questions.
Speak With An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney About Getting Reimbursed For Your Lost Wages
When you are hurt, it can affect your entire life and leave you feeling totally helpless and vulnerable. If you are going to hire an attorney to represent you, they should be able to fight for your rights to the fullest extent within reason.
We have seen too many cases where people are stepped on or left behind in negotiations and dealings with insurance companies and negligent parties responsible for accidents. That is where we come in. Martin Hernandez has more than 20 years of experience ensuring that victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.
You d0 not have to feel alone if you are recovering from an accident, cannot work, and are overwhelmed about how to make ends meet. Martin Hernandez can meet with you for a free and private consultation if you contact us at (813) 755-9500 or send us your information online to get started today.