Too Hurt To Work: Lost Wages And Auto Accidents

Being injured in an auto accident can turn your world upside down, and the effects of this event can impact your life in many ways. The at-fault driver and their insurance company will likely offer to pay for the damage to your vehicle, your medical expenses and your loss of other personal property, like a cell phone or child's car seat. What may be missing from the insurance company benefits, however, is compensation for the time lost from work. Whether you missed a day or two or are still out of work, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney to ensure that you receive some attention for your lost wages. Read on for more information about how lost wages are calculated and how to make sure you receive these valuable money damages.

What is meant by lost wages?

You may be eligible to receive compensation for any time off that can be directly related to the accident, from the day of the accident onward. This means any time you could not go to work from the time of the accident and the related medical treatment at the hospital to all appointments thereafter. Be sure to keep up with all time spent on tasks related to the accident, such as:

  • Time spent commuting to and from medical appointments.
  • Time spent recuperating at home.
  • Time spent at each appointment, lab test, physical therapy, or other medically-related obligations.
  • Time spent taking care of any mental health needs, such as therapy.
  • Time spent dealing with vehicle repair or replacement issues.
  • Time spent dealing with insurance issues.

Note: Be sure to keep any related documentation to verify your time, such as receipts and notes.

What pay documents do I need?

No matter what type of job you do, you are entitled to be reimbursed for any lost work time. Be prepared to prove your losses by obtaining the following documents:

  • If you are an hourly worker, either full time or part time: a copy of a recent pay stub.
  • If you are a salaried worker: a letter from your human resources or supervisor stating your usual salary and hours.
  • If you are self-employed: your most recent tax return or a few months of bank statements. If you are providing the tax return, it's not necessary to provide the entire return (your Schedule C for example), just the first page.

Vacation Pay and Sick Leave

Those workers who are fortunate enough to have paid time-off benefits should not need suffer from a loss of these benefits due to an accident. You are entitled to be reimbursed for any sick leave or vacation pay that you used to keep your income flowing during the accident and recuperation period.

Your lost wages can be recouped with careful record-keeping and the assistance of a personal injury attorney, so don't pass up the opportunity to have this valuable benefit included in your compensation package.