Your life can change in many ways after an unexpected car accident. If your injuries are severe, you may have to take time away from work to recover. Some injuries may even cause a disability that prevents you from going back to work, at all. Even if you’re fortunate to have paid time off, the financial stress of your situation can be overwhelming.
Did someone else cause your accident? If so, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. This can include money to reimburse you for lost wages and benefits that you’ve been forced to use because of your injuries. Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC to find out how our personal injury team can help you recover the money you need and deserve after your accident. Your first consultation is free, so call for help today.
Accident Victims in California Entitled to Economic Damages
The financial consequences of a San Diego car accident can be devastating. It can be difficult to take care of your day-to-day expenses after an accident. The pressure can build when you add in expenses for medical bills, rehabilitation, or the cost of replacing or repairing property. Things can get even worse if you’re forced to miss time at work.
Fortunately, you can be compensated for the financial costs and expenses you experience because of an accident. These are known as economic damages. An award of economic damages is intended to put you back in the financial position you were in before the accident ever happened.
Economic damages can include compensation for lost wages, benefits, and compensation you’ve missed out on because of your accident. You didn’t ask to be injured and you didn’t ask to miss work. The person who caused your accident can be held accountable for the financial burdens you’ve experienced.
Am I Entitled to Damages For Lost Wages If I’m Paid to Miss Work?
Were you forced to use up your vacation time and sick days after your car accident? If so, you can be reimbursed for this paid time off (PTO). These are your benefits that you should be able to use at your convenience and discretion. You shouldn’t be forced to use your PTO because you are unable to work through no fault of your own.
What happens if you get sick later in the year? What if there’s a family emergency and you need to use your vacation days to take care of it? If your PTO is gone because of your accident, you may be out of luck. Recovering compensation for the paid time off you’ve used can help to restore these benefits and give you peace of mind.
How Are Sick and Vacation Days Valued?
Sick days and vacation days are generally considered to be the equivalent of one full day’s pay. If you earn $250 a day, your sick days and vacation days would each be worth $250. You can be reimbursed for each sick and vacation day you use while recovering from your car accident injuries.
What If I’m Self-Employed? Can I Still Recover Lost Wages?
Approximately one-third of workers in the United States are selfe-mployed. Freelancing and contract work are becoming much more popular. Working for yourself has many benefits. You can make your own schedule, choose your own projects, and control your income. What happens if you’re injured in an accident and are unable to work? Do you have to forfeit your income just because you’re self-employed? No. Self-employed workers are also entitled to recover compensation for income that’s lost because of an accident.
However, it can be more difficult to recover compensation for lost wages if you are self-employed. As a salaried or hourly employee, your wages are fairly consistent. As an independent contractor, your income can vary significantly throughout the year. One month you may earn a lot, and another may be less fruitful. It can be tough to prove precisely how much you’ve lost in income because of your injury.
Certain information and documents can be very helpful as you pursue lost wages for self-employment income.
- Written documentation of missed appointments and meetings
- Proof of projects and contracts that you’ve been unable to fulfill
- State and federal tax returns
- 1099-MISC tax forms
- 1099-K tax forms, and
- Bank statements.
The more information you have to show that you’ve lost income, the stronger your case will be. Our San Diego car accident lawyers can help you gather the evidence that you’ll need to get the money you deserve.
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Disabled After My Car Accident?
Yes. If your accident has caused a temporary or permanent disability, you may have a reduced earning capacity. You can be compensated for income you’ve lost as well as the income you’re likely to miss out on because of your disability. In most cases, you can recover compensation for the difference between what you earned before the accident and what you’re capable of earning now.
Valuing a claim for reduced earning capacity can present many challenges. At Injury Trial Lawyers, our attorneys work with some of the most respected injury and vocational experts in San Diego. They’ll help us analyze your case and determine how your injury will affect your ability to earn. Their input will strengthen your claim and help you get all of the money you deserve.
How Do I Recover Compensation For Lost Wages?
Insurance companies don’t want to pay you for the time you’ve missed at work. To recover the money you deserve, you’ll need proof that:
- You needed to take time off from work because of your injury,
- You did miss time at work.
You will need help from your doctor and your employer as you pursue compensation for lost wages.
Get Proof You Needed to Miss Work
Insurance companies will try to deny your claim for lost wages by saying that it wasn’t necessary for you to miss time at work. You’ll need to get proof that says otherwise. Meet with your doctor and explain that you need a statement in support of your claim. Your doctor will probably ask you a series of questions about your injury, level of pain, mobility, and your job duties. They’ll determine whether your injury would prevent you from doing your job for a period of time.
Your doctor’s concerns and recommendations can be detailed in a formal statement for your case and/or your medical records. If a doctor suggests that you miss time at work, an insurance company will have a hard time denying you the money you deserve.
Get Proof That You Missed Work
You can only be compensated for the financial losses you’ve actually experienced as a result of your accident. If you didn’t miss work, you can’t recover money for lost wages. You will have to prove that you actually took time off from work to recover from your accident-related injuries.
Documents that can serve as evidence in your claim include:
- A letter from your employer detailing your request for time off
- A copy of your employer’s benefits policy
- Bank account statements
- Prior year tax returns
- Paystubs, and
- W2s and other tax forms.
Together, these documents will help not only to prove that you missed work, but also how much you’ve lost in wages as a result.
Contact Our San Diego Injury Lawyers For Help
Have you been involved in a San Diego car accident? Are your injuries preventing you from going back to work? You can be reimbursed for the income and benefits you’ve lost because of your accident. Our San Diego personal injury lawyers are prepared to make sure that you get every cent you deserve.
Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.