If you suffered injuries due to a car accident, you likely have substantial medical bills along with pain and suffering. Because of your injuries, you may also be unable to return to work. While medical bills are oftentimes straightforward and easy to obtain, you may struggle with the documentation you need in order to prove lost wages in your personal injury case.
Understanding Lost Wages
Lost wages refer specifically to the amount of pay (wages) you would have earned from your employer had you been able to go to work following your car accident. Whether you were off from work for a week or a few months, all the wages you would have earned during that time are considered lost wages for your personal injury claim.
Making a Lost Wages Claim
You will likely need to send the insurance company an independent medical examination, appropriate medical documentation that supports that you suffered injuries, and an employment authorization that will allow your employer to legally provide documentation regarding your wages and income to the insurance company. It is critical that you only provide the insurance company what they need to process your settlement. Many times, insurance companies will attempt to request a full medical history to which they are not legally entitled.
Along with the above-mentioned documentation, you will also likely need to provide a doctor’s note that confirms that you were either disabled or unable to return to work due to your injuries suffered from the car accident. You will need to provide any former paystubs or wage documents that will confirm the amount of your salary or wages. This can be done through actual pay stubs or a W-2 form or last year’s tax return. Also, you should provide a letter directly from your employer that indicates the actual days that you were absent, and the number of hours that you missed during each pay period. You want to make sure that all your base pay and overtime or bonuses are included in this amount.
Additionally, if you were forced to take sick days or vacation leave due to your inability to return to work, you should include these amounts. If it weren’t for your accident, you would have still had these sick days and vacation time, and therefore, they should be included in your claim. Finally, if you were out of work for an extended period of time, you may have lost the ability to obtain an expected pay raise as well as many employee perks such as employer contributions to your profit-sharing or retirement plan, transportation allowances, or stock options. All of this should be included in your lost wages claim.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you suffered an injury in a car accident that was so severe that you were unable to return to work, you have the right to compensation for your lost wages. Contact an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney at Kreeger Law for a free consultation today.