After a car accident, victims are usually left with serious physical injuries and mental trauma that can take years to fully recover from. Serious injuries usually have a devastating impact on the lives of accident victims and their families, especially if the claimant is left unable to work due to the collision. Claimants often seek compensation to cover damages such as medical bills and property damage without realizing they may also be able to claim for any losses of income they have incurred as a result of their auto accident. When people are unable to work, they often do not receive their full pay or any pay at all, which usually renders victims unable to afford essentials, including their rent and bills.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation and recover the wages you have lost as a result of the accident. At The Law Place, we work tirelessly to recover lost wages for victims who have been left unable to work due to car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents can be devastating for victims, and dealing with the financial burdens that usually follow them can be particularly stressful, especially when the individual involved is unable to work and earn money. The personal injury attorneys at our law firm are well-versed in winning compensation for our clients and have over 75 years of combined experience dealing with personal injury cases. Our legal team will fight tirelessly to ensure that you can cover the damages incurred as a result of your auto accident, including lost wages.
At The Law Place, we believe in consistent and open communication with our clients, which is why our attorneys are always available to speak to, no matter what time of day. Give us a call at (941) 444-4444 to schedule your free consultation with a car accident attorney and find out how much of your lost income you can recover.
What Are Lost Wages?
Lost wages are the income you would have received if it wasn’t for the injuries that left you unable to work as a result of your motor vehicle accident. This income is measured from the time the accident occurred to when you have fully recovered from your injuries. Only a doctor or other healthcare professional can confirm exactly when a patient has fully recovered from their injuries.
Bonuses and other benefits can also be claimed under lost wages. However, it must be proven that the injuries sustained from the car accident directly resulted in the claimant being unable to work, and therefore, causing them to lose income.
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Insurance Laws in the State of Florida
In the State of Florida, all drivers are required to be covered by their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance at a minimum of $10,000, in accordance with regulations established by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. PIP covers up to 80% of all medical bills regardless of who was at fault in the accident. However, PIP only covers up to 60% of lost income. Both medical expenses and lost wages are covered under the same PIP policy. Therefore, if the total amount of damages incurred after the accident exceeds $10,000, the insurance company is no longer responsible for paying these costs. In this case, a claimant can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to seek compensation from their insurance coverage.
For this reason, it’s important for those seeking fair compensation after a car accident to seek legal representation as quickly as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to determine if your damages exceed your insurance policy limit and file a lawsuit on your behalf. It is often the case that those who seek medical attention after an accident are left with expensive medical bills that often exceed insurance policies. Even standard medical treatment, including painkillers, scans, and x-rays, can incur costs well over standard insurance coverage. Therefore, medical costs are usually covered first by the insurance policy, and victims are sometimes forced to recover lost wages using other means.
Calculating Losses of Income After a Car Accident
One of the most important tasks of a personal injury attorney is calculating how much you could be entitled to in compensation for your damages. Determining how much you may be owed for lost wages can sometimes be challenging. However, our lawyers at The Law Place have ample experience in calculating how much compensation a client could expect for the losses of income they have suffered.
In the case that you’re paid an annual salary, the amount you usually earn in a year is divided by 2080 (the number of working hours in a year). This number is then multiplied by the number of hours you were unable to work due to the auto accident. For example, if you earn $100,000 a year and miss 50 hours of work, then you may be awarded approximately $2,400.
If you are paid an hourly rate at work, then calculating your loss of income is a little more straightforward. An experienced lawyer will determine how many working hours you have been unable to work due to your accident and multiply it by your hourly wage. For example, if you have missed 60 hours of work due to your injuries and you normally earn $12 an hour, then you could receive $720.
A car accident attorney will also be able to determine how much you can claim for bonuses and other benefits from your work in addition to your lost wages. If you are self-employed, you still have the right to claim lost wages after an accident. An attorney will ask you to provide business records, income tax returns, and other important documentation in order to calculate how much you may be entitled to claim.
How Do I Prove I Suffered From Lost Wages Due to a Car Accident?
Firstly, documentation must be provided that proves you were unable to work as a result of the injuries sustained from your motor vehicle accident. A doctor’s note and medical records are normally used as evidence of this. Also, if you were left unable to carry out daily chores and received extra assistance in the house, such as a cleaner that was paid for out of your own pocket, you may also make a claim to recover these costs. We recommend keeping any bills you incurred for these services.
Insurance companies will ask for the claimant’s pay stub in order to determine how much money is owed to them in lost wages. A pay stub should provide information such as how much the claimant earns as well as their tax rate. If the claimant doesn’t have a paystub available, they are allowed to use their tax returns documentation from the previous year as proof of how much the individual usually earns.
Sometimes an insurance company will ask for a letter from the claimant’s employer which confirms the number of days the employee was absent from work due to the accident as well as other important information.
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Receiving Compensation From Insurance Companies for Lost Wages
As Florida is a no-fault state, your own insurance company is responsible for covering your damages after a car accident, including lost wages, as per Florida Statute 627.7407. When the damages incurred exceed your insurance policy limit, a claimant can make a claim through the other driver’s insurance company. However, in some cases, the at-fault driver does not have insurance. When this happens, your own insurance company may cover the damages, especially if you have uninsured motorist coverage (this is an optional coverage policy). If you are found to be liable for your accident, it is difficult to claim compensation from insurance companies.
Under Florida Statute 768.81, the State of Florida uses comparative negligence laws when determining liability in a car accident. These laws allow more than one party to be held responsible for an auto accident, and the total settlement awarded can be reduced if the claimant is found partially liable for the accident. For example, if it is found that you were 20% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%. Insurance companies often try to hold the claimant responsible for the accident so that they don’t have to pay out the full settlement.
Our personal injury attorneys are prepared to take on insurance companies that try to avoid paying out money to claimants. We have ample knowledge and experience in Florida law, so we know how to recover compensation for your auto accident. Contact one of our law offices today to talk to a car accident lawyer in-depth about your case.
What’s the Difference Between Lost Wages and Lost Earning Potential?
When discussing lost wages, some individuals confuse them with lost earning potential. To be clear, lost wages are the income you would have earned if you were able to work, whereas lost earning potential involves the earnings that you may have earned in the future if it wasn’t for your accident. For example, if you are a factory worker and you have lost an arm as a result of your car accident and are no longer able to work in the profession, you may be able to claim damages for the money you could have received in the future.
What Other Damages Could a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Claim?
When seeking compensation after auto accidents, it’s important to know what damages can be claimed from your car insurance company. A car accident lawyer can advise you on what damages you may be eligible to claim in addition to lost wages and how much compensation you could receive from these damages. Other damages that can be recovered after an auto accident include:
- Medical bills – Receiving medical attention and treatment can be very expensive in the U.S., which is why seeking compensation to cover these expenses is so important. Treatment, including medication, surgery, and therapy, can be costly. However, an experienced attorney will be able to calculate how much you have spent on medical care and fight to get these costs reimbursed.
- Property damage – The other driver may have caused substantial damage to your vehicle and other possessions in the car during the collision. Your attorney can calculate how much the costs of repairing or replacing your property are and seek compensation to cover this.
- Pain and suffering – You may be able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of your accident. This can include both serious or permanent injuries as well as any mental trauma and psychological distress you may have experienced. Pain and suffering can sometimes be difficult to calculate as a monetary value, but a car accident lawyer at our law firm will be able to do this for you.
- Wrongful death – Whether intentional or not, if you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to claim compensation to cover funeral costs in addition to any hospital bills they may have incurred while receiving medical treatment before their death.
After a car crash, it’s highly recommended to keep records of your damages, for example, medical bills, doctor’s notes, and correspondence with your employer, which can be used as evidence in order to strengthen your claim and get the compensation you deserve. Sometimes victims sustain internal injuries from their accident that only become apparent days, weeks, or even months after the accident occurs. At The Law Place, we’ll gather all the evidence necessary to ensure you get the maximum compensation for the damages you may have suffered from.
Contact The Law Place
Car accidents can be devastating for victims, especially if they sustain physical and/or mental trauma that leaves them unable to work. The stress of wages lost due to an accident can often be overwhelming. However, a personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for your accident and help you recover your loss of income so that you can relax and recover from your accident in peace.
After a free consultation, your attorney will guide you through your personal injury lawsuit and ensure that you feel confident moving forward with your case. We provide our clients with invaluable legal advice and support as well as consistent and open communication. Making our clients feel reassured with their case and confident in our abilities to get them the compensation they deserve is one of our top priorities.
Call us at (941) 444-4444 for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer who can determine how much you may be owed for your lost wages and other damages.