Being involved in an accident is traumatic enough without having to worry about where your income is going to come from whilst you’re recovering. This can prove to be a pretty stressful time for the victim, especially if it wasn’t their fault. No one should lose out on their wage and risk missing bill payments when you really need it the most.
This post will outline everything you need to know about recovering lost wages from auto accidents so that you or a loved one will never be short of pocket if unfortunately you are caught up in one.
- Who’s Liable if the Accident Was My Fault?
- Who’s Liable if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
- What’s Included in Compensatory Damages?
Overall, employers are legally responsible for the actions of their employees while “acting within the scope of their employment.” This includes paying for injuries, medical expenses, and property damage caused by an employee while driving a company vehicle.
This covers accidents that occur when employees are:
- Making a delivery.
- Running a work-related errand.
- Driving another employee for work-related purposes.
- Driving to and off-site.
- Using a company vehicle while pursuing job duties.
Who’s Liable if the Accident Was My Fault?
If it’s found that your negligence has caused another person (third party) injury or damaged their vehicle, then you (and your employer if you’re driving commercially) can be held liable. Third parties aren’t solely the owner and driver of the other involved vehicle, they can also be:
- Their passengers
- Passengers in your company vehicle
However, just because you can be held liable for the incident doesn’t mean that you won’t get paid damages. Which is good news. In most cases, your employer’s liability insurance protects the employee driving against all third-party actions, meaning that the damages will be covered to the potentially injured third parties.
As the accident was your fault, it will be your insurance who is then liable to pay the damages and pay you out on your lost wages. If you have a no-fault insurance policy, your insurance company is required to pay 85 percent of your lost income for up to three years. You can use this to cover unpaid time off for recovery or bridge the gap if your condition causes you to lose your job.
Most states are tort states. At-fault cars are the ones responsible for all the damages caused by the accident. Medical, pain and suffering, physical damage, and property damage are covered by the car insurance policy of the at-fault car.
Who’s Liable if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
If you or a loved one are involved in a road accident that wasn’t your fault and you deem that the other driver's negligence was to blame, then it will be their insurance company that are liable to cover your damages. These damages include lost wages calculations, any property damage, and your medical expenses too.
However, these can be long drawn-out cases whilst liability is agreed upon and confirmed between all the different parties, and their insurance company won’t pay out your compensation until your case is resolved by settlement or jury decision.
To recover for lost wages, you have to provide the insurance company with proof that your lost wages are the result of the accident. The easiest way to prove this is by providing the insurance company with a work excuse from your doctor showing the days that you were supposed to be out of work for incident-related health reasons, and providing a statement from your employer as to how much money you would have made during that period. If you regularly worked overtime, don’t forget to include that as well.
What’s Included in Compensatory Damages?
As a result of being injured in an auto accident, you or a loved one will more than likely be entitled to compensatory damage, for example, lost wages. Compensatory damage includes:
- Medical costs – hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s visits, nursing care, medical equipment and prescription drugs are all covered.
- Rehabilitative costs – expenses connected to physical therapy, nursing home or rehabilitation hospital care, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other therapies or treatments required to help you rehabilitate from your injuries.
- Out-of-pocket personal expenses. If you spent any money as a result of your injuries such as for daycare, taxis, bus fare, cleaning help, or other expenses that you had to pay because you were injured, these can be compensated.
- Lost income. If you had to miss work, reduce the number of hours you work, or stop working altogether, your lost wages can be compensated. In addition, you may be entitled to compensatory damages for lost income if you had to change jobs or careers as a result of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is considerably harder to measure than other kinds of damages. However, under certain circumstances, you can be compensated for pain, embarrassment, or physical suffering connected to your injuries, if your daily routine and normal activities have been impacted.
Involved with an 18-Wheeler? Get the Right Attorney to Maximize the Payout you Deserve
Getting the right amount of compensation after your accident matters. Imagine you’ve been in an accident and only get offered a mediocre payout for your potential injuries and loss of income, you’d no doubt be feeling demoralized and panicked as to how you’re going to afford this month’s bills.
Don’t worry, at Coxwell & Associates our great team of personal injury specialists will provide you with nothing but the best service and will significantly increase your chances of getting the payout you deserve. Call today for a consultation.
Or, if you’re not quite ready yet and need a little more information, download our free guide below which will teach you everything you need to know about how to maximize the chance of success in your accident claim.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.