Work is an important part of many people’s lives. For some people, what they do gives meaning to their lives. Other people view work as something that has to be done to achieve favorable outcomes. But for everyone, work is the source of monetary income that allows them to eat, pay their bills, and increase the quality of their lives.
People value their jobs for these reasons, and it’s troubling when something interferes with their ability to earn their keep. Car accidents, unfortunately, are one of the things that can sometimes threaten a person’s ability to work. Maybe someone rear-ended your car and injured your back and neck. As a result, you can’t walk without significant pain and are unable to return to your job as a construction worker until you are treated. However, fully recovering from your injuries can take months. What will you do for income until then?
This situation sounds scary because it is, and it happens to millions of people a year. If you ever find yourself injured in a car accident and unable to return to work, you’ll need a motor vehicle accident attorney to fight to recover the wages you lost while not at work. Here are the major areas where a lawyer can help you recoup your lost wages.
- Knowing What Constitutes an Effective Claim. To recover lost wages following a car accident caused by someone else, certain conditions have to be present, and a good accident attorney will know what those are. For instance, the injury that has prevented you from working has to have stemmed from the accident itself. An existing injury would not apply in this situation, unless the accident exacerbated that injury and thereby caused you to miss work. If you missed six months of work while recovering, the insurance company of the person who caused the accident owes you six months of pay for that time. This right to recover wages applies whether you work full time, part time, or are self-employed. You will need to submit proof to your lawyer of the time you missed at work and how much money you would have made during that time. A doctor’s note commenting on your injuries and the time you should take off from work will also be needed. An accident attorney will know exactly what details are needed to submit a solid lost-wages claim to an insurance company.
- Knowing the Difference between Wages and Earning Capacity. In car accident claims, lost wages are separate from lost earning capacity. Lost wages, obviously, constitute the money you would have made had you been able to work over a certain period. Meanwhile, lost earning capacity is somewhat more difficult to calculate. Earning capacity is a person’s ability to hold the type of job that corresponds to their education and abilities. If a long-term injury caused by a car accident forces you to take a lower-paying job, a car accident lawyer can help you recover the money you would have made had you stayed in your original job. Determining this figure will be the decision of an insurance adjuster, but if lost earning capacity applies in your case, your payout will be all the larger.
- Knowing How to Fight for You in Court. In some instances, an insurance company might give you a hard time paying for the lost wages resulting from a car accident. If they just won’t budge, a car accident lawyer can take them to court in a lawsuit. Your lawyer will use evidence such as medical records, pay stubs, and statements from your employer to help a judge determine that you are owed compensation for lost wages, and what that compensation should be. There is no better time to rely on a car accident attorney than when going to court, as lawyers know the ins and outs of winning a case with the best outcomes for their clients.
What this post comes down to is the idea that lost wages due to a personal injury sustained in a car accident don’t have to remain lost. There are legal options out there for recovering what is rightfully yours. Talk to a car accident attorney near you to learn what options are available to you.