How to Claim Wage Loss Benefits after a Car Accident

Related Ads

Wage loss benefits are obtainable either through an insurance claim or lawsuit. In either case, aside from the procedural differences of a lawsuit, your claim must be supported. The evidence and other information you will use for your claim is the same in both circumstances.

Calculate Your Lost Wages

Wage loss benefits are commonly referred to as “lost wages”. This type of damage is considered an economic damage because it is calculable according to existing numbers and not merely an estimate. The first step when making a lost wage claim is to calculate the amount of money you lost due to being unable to work. Include any sick and vacation days you had to take in your calculations.

If you are paid an hourly wage, your lost wages can be calculated through multiplying your hourly wage by the number of hours you missed work. If you are salaried, divide your salary to determine how much you make in a single day and then multiply that number by the days you missed work.

Lost Wage Rule Exception

Lost wages are not compensable for individuals that are unemployed. It is not a basis for a claim to say that you were unable to work because of your injury when, in fact, you were not able to work at the time. However, if you were actively looking for work when you were injured, you may still be able to obtain compensation. This would require proof that you were actively looking and likely to find a position but were injured and so lost potential employment opportunities.

Gathering More Evidence of Lost Wages

An extremely helpful document when anticipating claiming lost wages is a letter from your employer certifying that you were unable to work due to being injured. If possible, your boss or human resource representative could provide specific dates and information about your salary. This will support your claim for wages.

Making Your Claim

After calculating the amount of wages you lost and obtaining a letter from your employer it is time to make your claim for wages. Identify your claim as damages associated with missing work due to injuries received in the auto accident. Provide the dates you missed work and why you were forced to miss them, specifically whether you were in pain or seeking treatment or any other cause regarding your injury or its treatment. Finally, provide the exact value of the wages you lost. Most likely, an insurance company will be amenable to your claim because it is easily verifiable.

Getting Legal Help

If you have lost wages because of an accident received in an auto accident, seek legal representation. A lawyer will advise you about making your claim for lost wages, including how and what documentation to use to support your request.