After a car accident, you may have many questions running through your mind. One of our clients’ main questions is, “How will I pay my bills if I can’t work?” It is challenging to take care of your household expenses without an income. While recovering from your car accident injuries, falling behind on your mortgage or rent is easy. Without a paycheck, you may even find that you cannot pay your utility bills or buy food for your family.
Car accidents can cause injuries lasting for weeks, months, or even a lifetime. So, what can you do if you can’t go to work and collect your paychecks? How can you get compensation for that lost time at work?
What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?
You can recover two types of damages if you suffer an injury in a car accident: economic and non-economic damages.
- Medical expenses: These include any costs associated with treating your injuries, such as hospital bills, doctor visits, and physical therapy. It includes past treatment and medical care you might require in the future for your injuries, such as skin grafts or surgeries.
- Lost wages: If you cannot work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to recover the wages you would have earned during that time. This includes income of all kinds and benefits you’ve lost.
- Property damage: If your car or other personal property suffered damage in the accident, you could seek compensation to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Pain and suffering: These damages compensate you for the physical pain and suffering you experienced due to the accident.
- Loss of consortium: If your relationship with your spouse or partner suffers because of your injuries, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship, sexual relations, and other aspects of your relationship.
- Emotional distress: If the accident has caused you to experience severe emotional distress, such as anxiety or depression, you may be able to recover damages for these conditions.
How Do I Recover Compensation for Lost Wages, Income, and Benefits?
The easiest way to recover compensation for lost wages, income, and benefits is to hire a personal injury lawyer with experience handling car accident cases.
To recover compensation for lost wages, income, and benefits, you must provide evidence of your employment status, income, and benefits before the accident. This may include pay stubs, tax returns, and employment contracts. You must also provide documentation of missed work days or reduced hours due to your injuries. A note from your doctor, your employer’s attendance records, or other relevant documents are often required.
You may also need evidence of your current and future earning capacity to collect compensation for the loss of future earnings. This could include expert testimony from an economist or vocational rehabilitation specialist, depending on the severity of your injuries.
Recovering lost wages, income, and benefits is complex and time-consuming. Injured accident victims do not typically have the time or energy to collect all the documents needed. Therefore, it is often in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident attorney to help you navigate the legal system and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney can gather all the necessary documentation and evidence for your case and calculate the total amount of lost wages, income, and benefits you are entitled to recover. Your attorney will also negotiate with the insurance company or the other party’s lawyer to ensure you receive full compensation for your losses.
Can I File a Claim Even If I Take Sick Time?
Yes, you can still file a claim even if your employer pays for your time off from work in the form of vacation or sick days. The fact that your employer paid you for the time you missed does not prevent you from seeking additional compensation for your lost wages.
The amount you received from your employer for sick time may only partially compensate you for your lost wages. For example, sick time pay may be less than your regular pay, and you may find that you are missing overtime or bonuses you usually count on.
Plus, once you’ve used your sick time and vacation time, you can’t get it back from your employer. If you get sick in the future or need to take time off for your mental health, those benefits won’t be there.
Fortunately, you can ask for compensation for the paid time off you’ve taken due to the accident.
How Are Vacation and Sick Days Valued?
The law values any sick days or vacation days you used due to injuries similarly to regular work days. However, the value of each sick day or vacation day will depend on your usual pay rate, including any overtime or bonuses you would have earned if you had not suffered injuries in a car crash.
While this may seem cut and dry, the insurance company or the other party may try to argue that you should get compensation for sick days or vacation days that you would have taken even if you had not been injured. For example, if you have a history of taking a certain number of vacation days each year, they may argue that you would have taken those days regardless of the accident and, therefore, should get paid for them.
Your lawyer will need to present evidence that you took sick days or vacation days as a direct result of your injuries and that you would not have taken them if you were not injured. Your attorney can then calculate the value of these days by considering your usual rate of pay, overtime, and bonuses.
Contact Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers Today
Our law firm knows that not collecting a paycheck or benefits after an accident can cause tremendous financial strain on you and your family. That’s why Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked works quickly to help you obtain compensation for all damages, including lost time at work. For a free consultation on your case and help understanding your options, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 or fill out our confidential contact form.