Recovering from the injuries you suffer in a car accident can take time. In many cases, you’ll need to stop working so that you can focus on getting better. Taking time off from work can be quite stressful. Some employers don’t offer paid vacation or sick time. Others may be hesitant to hold your job for you, at all.
Without an income, it can be difficult to take care of your normal day to day expenses, let alone the costs generated by the accident. You shouldn’t be forced to lose your income or use up vacation days because you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault. You may have the right to file a claim to recover compensation for lost wages.
Can I Recover Lost Wages After a Car Accident?
When someone else causes an accident, you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries. There are typically two types of damages you can get: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages help to reimburse you for the financial costs that are related to your accident. This includes money for things like medical bills, the cost of replacing or repairing damaged property, and lost wages. Receiving an economic award should help to put you back in the financial position you were in before the accident happened. You weren’t responsible for the accident, so you shouldn’t have to bear the costs of injuries.
Lost wages and other economic damages can be recovered when you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
While you can pursue damages for lost wages on your own, you risk missing out on valuable compensation. It’s important to make sure that your claim is investigated and valued properly. Hiring an experienced attorney will put you in the best position to recover all of the money you deserve.
Can I File a Claim Even If I’m Paid to Miss Work?
Yes. Many employers do offer paid time off from work in the form of vacation days and sick days. It’s very possible that you’ll be forced to use up your PTO while you recover from your car accident injuries.
While this can help to keep you financially stable after your accident, it can hurt you in the long run. Once you’ve recovered, there’s no getting those vacation and sick days back. You’ll be out of options if you get sick, need to care for a family member, or simply need some time off from work for your mental health. Fortunately, you can ask to be reimbursed for the paid time off you’ve been forced to take because of the car accident.
How Are Vacation and Sick Days Valued?
You can recover compensation to reimburse you for any paid time off you’ve been forced to use because of an accident. Compensation for sick days and vacation days should be the equivalent of one day’s wages.
So, if you earn $200 each day that you work, your sick and vacation days should be valued at $200 each. You are entitled to be reimbursed $200 for every sick and vacation day you take to recover from your car accident injuries.
How Do I Recover Compensation For Lost Wages?
There are three things you’ll need to do to recover compensation for lost wages after a car accident.
- Speak with your doctor and gather medical records.
- Gather proof of time off and lost wages.
Consult With Your Doctor
Insurance companies and at-fault drivers will fight you every step of the way as you pursue compensation. It will be important to establish that it was necessary for you to take time off from work after your car accident. The best way to do this is by speaking with your doctor about your ability to work.
Your doctor can ask you a series of questions to determine how your specific injury could affect your job performance. For example, let’s say that you’ve suffered a back injury. Your doctor may be inclined to encourage you to take time off from work if your job requires heavy lifting, standing for long periods of time, or driving. Your back injury could prevent you from doing your job correctly and put yourself and others in danger.
Your doctor’s recommendations and concerns can be documented in your medical records. These can be used to prove that time away from work is necessary because of your injury.
Prove You Missed Work & Lost Income
You’ve established that time off from work was necessary. Now you’ll need to prove that you’ve actually missed work. Many documents can help your case, including:
- A letter from your employer detailing your request for time off
- Pay stubs
- Income tax returns
- W2s and other tax documents
- Employer’s vacation and sick day policy, and
- Union contracts, if applicable.
Your attorney will use these documents to make sure that you are fully compensated for any income, wages, or benefits you’ve lost because of your car accident.
Can I Recover Lost Wages If I’m Self-Employed?
Yes. However, the process of valuing your request for lost wages can be more challenging. Your compensation may fluctuate throughout the year, which can make it tough to pinpoint precisely how much income you’ve lost because of an accident. Certain information can help to value your claim for lost income. These include:
- Tax returns for prior years, indicating a decline in earnings in the current year
- 1099s and other tax forms
- Proof of canceled appointments, and
- Proof of contracts, agreements, and projects you’ve been unable to fulfill.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Citywide Law Group will carefully assess your case and make sure that your self-employment losses are calculated properly. Our goal is to make sure that you’re fully compensated for any losses you’ve experienced because of your injuries.
What If I’m Unable to Work After My Car Accident?
Are you permanently disabled because of your car accident injuries? Will you be unable to go back to work? A permanent disability can affect your ability to earn a living. You can obtain compensation for your reduced earning capacity. This allows you to recover the difference between what you earned before your accident and what you’re capable of earning now.
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys work with some of the best accident and disability experts in the state of California. We’ll work closely with these individuals as we review your case. This will allow us to determine how much you should be able to recover for lost wages and any diminished ability to earn.
Contact Citywide Law Group for Help Today
Has a car accident forced you to miss time at work? Is someone else responsible for your injuries? Contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers and Los Angeles personal injury lawyers to learn about your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for the income and benefits you’ve lost because of your injuries.
Our car accident attorneys can help to make sure that you recover every dollar you deserve. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.