If you were injured in an auto accident in Texas and you missed work as a result, you’re likely frustrated and angry that you’re now forced to miss work because of someone else’s mistake. Do the bills fall on your shoulders? Will your insurance pay for them? And can a lawyer help? The good news is that you do have options.
To schedule a free consultation of your case, call us today at 817-294-1900.
Insurance Company Offered $4,000, We Fought and Won $45,000
Who Can Make a Lost Wage Claim?
If you were hurt in an accident that was someone else's fault (on the job or not), and you missed work as a result, you have a right in Texas to be compensated for missed work days and lost earning capacity.
Whose Insurance Pays for Lost Wages?
The first thing you'll need to do is look at whose fault the accident was. If, for instance, the other driver caused the accident, the claim will be made using their insurance company. At our firm, we mainly look at the at-fault driver's liability insurance to make sure they pay for what they should, which includes compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you have health insurance or personal injury protection (PIP), use it to help pay your medical bills. If you have PIP insurance on your car (or on the car you were in at the time of the accident), that insurance company should pay your 80 percent of the wages you lost from missing work due to injuries.
In summary, if you were hurt in an auto accident, it's best to use all forms of available insurance to ensure you're fully compensated for the days of work you missed.
How to Make a Lost Wages Claim (If You're Employed or Self-Employed)
Any claim for lost wages must be supported by documentation from your employer or, if you're self-employed, by your federal income tax returns.
You will need to provide proof that missing work was reasonable and supported by your medical records. If you were working in a warehouse and suffered a broken leg in an accident, it's pretty obvious that you were unable to work until you were out of your cast and back on your feet. But with other injuries, it might not be as obvious as to whether or not you're able to work. In those situations, you'll need support from your doctor.
Sometimes doctors don't record the fact that they told you to stay off work; instead they just give you an off-work slip. Make sure to keep all of those slips to prove that the work you missed was at the advice and direction of your doctor. Without a doctor's excuse, the insurance company might not think that the work you missed was justified, and therefore they might not pay you for it.
Can You Make a Lost Wages Claim If You're Unemployed?
No. To make a lost wages claim, you need to prove your wages.
If you're unemployed and an injury took away future earning capacity (like if the injury left you with a weak back that prevents you from doing manual labor), you CAN still recover money for that. This is different than lost wages - it falls under the category of future wages.
If you've been injured badly enough to warrant claiming for future earning capacity, you're case automatically becomes more serious in the eyes of the insurance company. In these cases, we strongly suggest you contact us here at the Anderson Injury Lawyers. We offer free consultations.
Common Questions on Lost Wages
Question #1: Can I receive compensation if I'm self-employed?
Yes. You'll need to provide a history of your income to show the wages you've lost. This would include averaging your income per month to show that the months following your accident have significantly lower averages than those before the accident. Providing tax returns and financial statements can also be helpful.
Question #2: I get paid in direct deposit-monthly. How can I prove how much I earn?
You can request for human resources or your office manager to provide you with a copy of a pay stub, or you may obtain one online if available.
Question #3: Can I receive compensation for benefits?
Yes. Vacation time or sick leave used to take time off work to handle accident-related tasks, such as treating injuries, is an example of this; you are using your job’s employee benefit of taking paid time off work to care for your health, which can be compensated for.
Question #4: I need to receive compensation for my lost wages, but the insurance company does not acknowledge the full amount of my wages. How can I proceed?
Basically, there are three things you need to prove your lost wages: proof that the doctor ordered you to take time off work, proof that you missed that time from work, and proof of what you are making.
Who Needs to Hire a Lost Wage Lawyer?
If you've never hired a lawyer before, you might be wondering, "What will an attorney do for me? Do I even need one?" You will benefit from hiring a lawyer if you:
- Were hurt in an accident caused by another driver
- You're missing work and losing wages because of the wreck
- Don't have health insurance after a wreck and can't afford to get treatment
- Have never handled a claim before and feel confused about what to do next
- Tried handling the claim on your own but encountered trouble with the insurance adjuster
- Received an unfair settlement offer from the insurance company
- Want a professional to ensure you win everything you deserve to cover the cost of your accident
If you were in an accident that wasn't your fault and suffered injuries as a result, you will benefit from having a personal injury attorney handling your case. The reason is simple. After a wreck, you're going to have to convince the other driver's insurance company to pay you the money you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, damaged car, and pain and suffering. However, insurance adjusters are trained to pay you as little money as possible. It's how insurance companies make money.
Having a lawyer on your side evens the playing field. Here at the Anderson Injury Lawyers, we have over 25 years of experience winning money for hurt accident victims in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We know exactly how to set up your case, and we handle everything for you.
What's the Next Step?
After a wreck, you're going to need to file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company to recover compensation like your lost wages and other damages. Not sure who's at fault? We can help.
Often, people choose to hire an attorney to handle their claim for them and to make sure they're getting the money they deserve.