Unfortunately, for many car accident victims in South Florida who’ve suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, pain and suffering aren’t the only things that have to be dealt with after the incident.
Oftentimes, car accident victims with serious injuries have to take time off from work to heal or undergo surgery, resulting in significant lost wages. Here’s what you need to know about lost wages and wage loss claims:
What Are Lost Wages?
In regards to car accidents, lost wages are the wages that you would have been able to earn but now are not able to as a direct result of an injury caused by the accident. Lost income can consist of any of the following:
Lost Wages: Any wages lost during the period of time you are not able to work as a result of an accident-related injury
Lost Earning Capacity: Any wages you could have earned but now cannot as a result of an accident-related injury turned long-term disability; this lost earning capacity disables you from being able to make the same amount of money as you may have once before
Lost Opportunities: Any opportunities you may have had that now must be postponed or canceled while you’re in recovery, including missed job interviews, sales meetings and other opportunities you may depend on for income
For more information about how your damages are generally calculated, use our Personal Injury Calculator now.
How Do I Prove My Lost Wages?
Medical Documentation: In order to be considered for a lost wages claim, you must have an official note or disability slip from a physician who has confirmed that your injuries are too severe for you to work until you’ve recovered; the document should also include the amount of time he/she recommends for you to be excused from working, any treatments or medications you need and any medical bills invoiced for your injury.
Documentation from Your Employer: Another important document to have for a lost wages claim is a formal letter or other official document from your employer that confirms the details of your situation; this should include the amount of time from work that was taken for recovery, your current salary or hourly rate, and the amount of time you spend at work per pay period.
Pay Stubs, W-2s or Other Income Documentation: Provide evidence of your recent pay stubs that shows what you were earning prior to having to leave work in order to recover. If those are unavailable or you are self-employed, collect any invoices, correspondence, W-2s or other tax information that shows the amount of money you have made or could have made if the accident had not occurred.
Are There Any Exclusions?
If your policy has any information that states “Exclusion of Work Loss (included)”, then you need to know that your coverage will not pay for any lost wages you experience as a result of your injury.
When policyholders lower their insurance costs by reducing their deductibles, it often removes certain benefits from their policy, including wage loss benefits. Often, PIP (personal injury protection) policies will have this provision.
Who Can Help Me With My Lost Wages Claim?
When you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, there’s a lot to deal with after the fact, including recovering, filing paperwork, speaking to insurance companies, making new arrangements with family and work, and so much more.
If you’re unsure of what to do in order to get your lost wages claim started on the right foot, contact The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen today. Our team of experienced South Florida personal injury attorneys are here to help you recover your lost wages and get you on the road to recovery.