Can't Work After A Car Accident? Recover Lost Wages and Income
If you've been in an automobile accident, you may be facing a long road to recovery. One of the biggest concerns for many accident victims is how they will pay their bills and support themselves and their families if they are unable to work. Insurance companies attempt to quickly deny your right to recover for your impacted earning potential, but don't let this dissuade you. Fortunately, this blog will discuss all of the legal options available to help crash victims recover lost wages and income, and also share ways to force the insurance company to provide you what you're owed.
What Qualifies As Lost Income or Lost Wages?
Lost income or lost wages refers to any income that an individual is unable to earn as a result of an accident or injury. This can include:
Gross pay: This includes the individual's base salary, hourly wages, commission, and any bonuses or tips they would have earned.
Benefits: This includes any benefits that the individual would have received as part of their employment, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and vacation pay.
Self-employment: If the individual is self-employed, they may be able to recover missed pay from their business or investments.
Potential earnings: If the individual's injuries prevent them from returning to work or from working at their previous capacity, they may be able to recover lost income for the potential earnings they would have had if not for the traffic accident.
Loss of future earning capacity: If the injury causes long-term disability and the individual can't return to their prior occupation, they may be able to recover lost income for the potential earning they would have had in the future.
To recover missed earning and salary, the individual needs to prove that the income the impact as a result of the car crash and provide evidence of the income they would have earned, such as payroll stubs, tax returns, or other financial documents. Whether the at-fault driver has Geico, Allstate, USAA, or State farm, or any other automobile insurance company, all of them act to deny your right to lost income. An attorney experienced in auto accident cases can help an you understand the types your rights provide guidance on how to properly document and present a claim.
How Are Lost Wages Calculated?
Lost wages are typically calculated in a personal injury lawsuit by using evidence such as payroll records, tax returns, and other financial documents to determine the individual's average weekly or monthly income before the accident. This income is then compared to the individual's income after the crash to determine the amount of lost wages.
Additionally, other factors that may be taken into account when calculating lost wages include:
The length of time the individual was unable to work: The longer the individual was unable to work, the greater the amount of lost wages will be.
The individual's earning potential: If the individual is unable to return to their previous job or to work at their previous capacity, they may be able to recover lost wages for their potential earning capacity.
The individual's age: The older the individual, the greater the potential for future earning loss.
The individual's education and qualifications: If the individual has a high level of education or specialized qualifications, they may be able to earn more than someone with less education or qualifications, and as a result, have a greater potential for lost wages.
The individual's employment status: If the individual is self-employed or owns their own business, their lost wages may be calculated differently than for an employee of a company.
How Does Attorney Prove A Loss of Earnings?
A lawyer can help an auto accident client recover lost wages by building a strong case for compensation. This can include gathering evidence such as payroll stubs, medical records, and accident reports, as well as hiring an economist expert to calculate your lost earning capacity. The lawyer will use this evidence to pursue a settlement or file a lawsuit against the responsible party, and argue that the client is entitled to missed financial opportunities due how the accident affected your ability to return to your job or place of employment. Negotiating missed income isn't easy, because insurance companies train their adjusters to find ways to deny your right to wage compensation.
One the most common ways insurance adjuster refute your right to recover economic damages is to claim your injuries weren't significant enough to cause you to suffer a decrease in earning potential. Against, this is where the attorney steps in. The truth is, whether you suffered whiplash , a concussion, a spinal cord injuries, shoulder injuries, or similar, all of these medical complication can be significant enough to present a victims ability to handle work tasks.
The use of an economist expert aids in calculating the total value of lost economic opportunity, taking into consideration the client's past and future earning potential, and any bonuses or benefits that the client may have lost as a result of the accident. This way the attorney will be able to argue for a fair compensation for the client to be able to recover their lost wages.
What Are The Ways Auto Accident Victims Recover For An Impacted Earning Capacity?
Personal injury lawsuit
If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover lost wages, as well as other damages such as medical expenses and pain and suffering, and even emotional injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder. Attorneys often
If you were on the job at the time of the accident, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can include coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability.
Many automobile insurance policies include coverage for missed wages, known as loss of income coverage. This coverage can provide you with a portion of your wages if you cannot work as a result of the crash.
If you have disability insurance through your employer or purchased individually, it can provide you with a portion of your money if you are unable to work.
Can I Recover PTO or Other Benefits After A Crash?
Yes, in addition to lost wages, an individual who has been involved in a crash may be able to recover other paid time off or benefits as well. Some examples include:
Sick leave: If the individual used their sick leave as a result of the collision, they may be able to recover the value of that leave.
Vacation time: If the individual was unable to take their scheduled vacation as a result of the wreck, they may be able to recover the value of that time.
Health insurance: If the individual was unable to work and lost their employer-provided health insurance, they may be able to recover the cost of obtaining their own insurance.
Retirement benefits: If the individual was unable to contribute to their retirement plan as a result of the collision, they may be able to recover the value of those missed contributions.
Stock options: If the individual was unable to exercise their stock options as a result of the accident, they may be able to recover the value of those options.
It requires a strategic and creative argument to force an insurance company or jury to provide for these employment benefits. Don't try to recover income reimbursement alone. Hire counsel experienced in representing auto accident clients that have suffered these types of economic setbacks. Clients often ask, "What does a car accident attorney do?" And the answers are extensive but involve throughout advocating for everything a client is legally entitled to.
How Is PTO Calculated?
At attorney calculates Paid time off (PTO) by determining the number of days or hours an employee has accumulated based on their years of service and the company's PTO policy. The method of calculation can vary depending on the company's policy, but some common ways include the accrual method, lump sum method, hybrid method, or other benefit plans. Under the accrual method, an employee accrues a certain number of PTO hours per pay period, and the total number of hours is recorded. Under the lump sum method, an employee is given a lump sum of PTO hours at the beginning of the year, and the employee can use those hours as needed. A hybrid method is when companies offer a combination of both the accrual and lump sum methods.
Depending on how you're paid the extent of your wage interruption and attorney might calculate your losses in a different way. It is important to gather your W-2's and Tax Records so that your lawyer can review these documents and inform you of your options.
Consult With An Experienced Car Accident Attorney To Determine Your Lost Wages
If you were injured in a car accident in Texas and suffered lost wages, it's important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to determine your economic losses. Attorney Niles Sneed has helped thousands of clients in recovering missed wages, medical expenses, and other financial damages that you have incurred as a result of the motor vehicle collision.
Attorney Niles Sneed and his team of trial attorneys at Sneed & Mitchell LLP offer free consultations, so that you can discuss the options available to you a today. Give him a call at 866-434-0014. An remember, you owe our firm nothing until your case is successful. We're ready to help.