After a severe accident and disabling injury, you will likely have medical bills that need to be paid, as well as damage to your vehicle for which you’ll be seeking compensation for. If you were employed at the time of the accident, you can also make a lost wage claim to get compensated for the work you missed, due to your inability to perform your normal job. It is not uncommon for someone to miss a day or even a week of work following an accident, but what if its several weeks, or more? Some individuals will have sick pay or vacation days to draw from, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help make sure that those responsible for your crash are held accountable.
Necessary Lost Wage Documentation
In order for you to get paid for lost wages as part of your insurance claim, you will need to provide several pieces of documentation to the insurance company. First, you will need a note from your treating physician that outlines your inability to work for a set date range. It is important that the note lists specific dates or durations of time, so that the insurance company knows exactly how much time was missed, and that the absences were substantiated by the physician who treated you. In addition to your doctor’s note, you’ll need a note from your employer stating how much time you missed as a result of the accident, and your rate of pay. This is important because the insurance company will need to verify your wages so that they can correctly calculate how much money you are owed. Thirdly, in many cases, a client is required to provide recent pay stubs or tax records, as another way of verifying that you earn what you say you earn. Typically, the 4 most recent pay stubs are sufficient, but check with your attorney, or the insurance adjuster you’re dealing with to make sure you’re submitting the proper supporting documents.
The Nature of Your Injuries
In order to claim lost wages for your injuries, you must have sustained injuries that your medical provider agrees limits your ability to perform your job. This means that there must be medical documentation that you were unable to perform the daily tasks associated with your job. Jobs that requires manual labor can be a little more straightforward when it comes to proving a loss of earning. If you work in a warehouse, or on a production line for example, and your doctor says you are unable to lift more than 10 lbs., stand for more than 1 hour, or walk more than 30 yards, this clearly demonstrates your inability to perform your job. If, however you have a desk job, and suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury symptoms, it can be more difficult to prove that your injuries prohibit you from working. At the end of the day, it is your physician’s notes that will make the case.
Loss of Earning Potential
This refers to your ability to earn wages in the future. If you were injured in a severe accident and experience a decrease in your ability to earn wages as a result, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for your diminished capacity to earn in the future. For example, if you are a 40-year-old construction worker, your lawyer (with the assistance of an economic expert witness) can help build a case for the future financial effects of your injuries that take into account your salary, raises or salary increases applicable to your industry, your work life expectancy (to help calculate retirement age for your job) and other relevant factors to get the insurance company to compensate you partially or fully for lost earning potential.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident, it is vitally important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer, so that you can get a clear sense of how strong your case is, and what it is worth. Only then will you have the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interest. We offer free, no pressure consultations and would be happy to sit down with you and see how we can help. Contact us today.