Wondering how to make up for the income that you have lost due to the injuries resulting from an auto accident? If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault and got injured, your insurer may reimburse you for lost wages. The actual amount you get depends to a significant extent on your ability to file the claim in a flawless manner. Whether you are living in Washington or Florida, you must learn the right ways to include lost income in your personal injury settlement claims. Much also depends on your coverage types. If you are contemplating to file a wage loss claim, the following information will come to your aid.
What Are Lost Wages and How Much of It Can You Actually Recover?
When injuries hold you up for a considerably long time and you cannot attend to your work, you have a zero income for that period. Lost wages refer to the amount that you have missed over that period due to your absence from work.
There Are Three Types of Lost Wages:
- Lost wages for the period during which you could not work.
- Sometimes people sustain complicated injuries and the resulting disability leaves them incapable of making as much money as before. Thus a drop in the earning capacity is also considered as a type of lost wages.
- You are also entitled to get compensated for the work opportunities that you lost due to your accident injuries. A missed job interview is a good example of this type of wage loss.
The Types of Coverage You Will Need to Compensate Your Lost Wages
If you have a broken leg and cannot go to the office for three months, your insurer is bound to provide you three months’ worth of wages, provided you have the right car insurance policy that covers lost wages. Not all types of car insurance policies will help you get a reimbursement for your lost income. You may need to have one of the following three coverage types to recover your lost income:
Liability Bodily Injury Coverage
If you were injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage enables you to get compensated for your lost wages.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If the at-fault driver hasn’t got any insurance or has an inadequate coverage, you may still be able to get compensation for lost wages under an uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
If you are residing in one of the 10 no-fault states, you are entitled to get a compensation under PIP coverage. For example, if you live in Florida, you can avail the benefits of PIP auto insurance, which is designed to provide injured drivers up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage without any legal hassles. PIP insurance lets you collect your lost income even if you caused the accident.
Ways to Document Lost Income
It is important to note that the right to reimbursement applies to all types of workers – full-time, part-time, seasonal, hourly/ weekly/ monthly wage earners and self-employed professionals.
If you are a full-time employee, simply request your boss to issue an absent certificate, mentioning your name, designation, remuneration, your normal work hours, and the number of hours or days you missed following the accident. It need not specify whether you took sick leave, vacation time off, or a casual leave of absence.
You will find the process a bit more complicated if you are self-employed or work for a company irregularly. First, you will have to show how much work hours you have lost and then prove the corresponding income that you have missed because of that lost time. You can use missing invoices, canceled appointments, and documents showing your absence from conferences, meetings or any type of appointments, as evidence.
If you are among those professionals who work seasonally, earning most of your income over the course of a few weeks, but earning little or nothing over the rest of the year, you can show the value of lost work by calculating the income for the entire year, and then dividing that into a weekly or monthly average. You can use your previous year’s income tax return as your income proof.
It’s your legal right to be compensated for lost wages if you get injured due to another driver’s negligence. Whether you are at fault or not, if you live in Florida or any other no-fault states, you can recover the lost income under the personal injury protection coverage. Get help from a personal injury attorney in Florida to understand the details and get the compensation you deserve. You may find the filing process too complicated to handle, so seek the help of a competent auto accident lawyer in your city.