As a San Francisco car accident lawyer, I help a lot of clients that have missed work due to an accident. It is common for clients to have questions regarding compensation. Below, I’ll cover some of the most common. If you do not see your question listed, please call for a free consultation.
Am I entitled to money for wages I have lost?
Absolutely. A claim for lost wages should be included in any personal injury claim. It is rare not to have lost wages as the accident itself probably caused you to miss some work, as will have any medical appointments and procedures. As you recover physically, your ability to work a full forty hours may be compromised. This regularly results in a loss of wages and, in some cases, it may even mean losing a job. If you are suffering financially due to lost wages of this sort, you should call my office to speak with an attorney.
Will the insurance company give me money to cover my demotion?
I have seen a number of cases where people have been demoted after an accident due to either an inability to meet the physical requirements of their jobs or due to the time they had to take off from work for medical appointments, physical therapy, and the like. In this case, you could be looking at long-term wage loss that the insurance company should pay for.
How do I prove my lost wages?
Whether you lost time from work due to being at the doctor or to being physically unable to complete the tasks at hand, you should be able to prove your lost wages with paystubs. If you are an hourly employee, you can demonstrate the number of hours you worked prior to your accident compared to how many hours you have been working since simply by looking at your paystubs. As long as your job is not traditionally seasonal, this is a safe and easy way to make the calculations. If you have been technically demoted, you can also get a letter from your employer stating your previous and current hourly rates.
Will I be paid for my future loss of earnings?
This needs to be taken into consideration when filing your claim, and the best place to start is by speaking with your doctors. They can tell us if you will recover and when you are likely to do so. If they say that you are never going to fully recover, we will need to determine how that is going to impact you physically and how that will factor into your future wages. For example, if your doctor says that you will always walk with a limp and you have a warehouse job, you may no longer be able to perform your job duties effectively. As an attorney, I will work with you to calculate how that could result in a loss in your hourly wage, overtime hours, and other job-related income. Since this is a complicated process, it takes a team effort between you, an attorney, and your insurance company. Just remember that in order to be entitled to lost wages for future earnings, the other driver would need to be either negligent or at fault for the crash.
What are my options if the accident permanently disabled me?
If you are deemed by a doctor to have full and complete disability, you could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in addition to the compensation you receive from the accident claim.