Lost wages from a car accident
Will My Car Insurance Cover Lost Wages?
Some auto insurance providers offer an option for lost wage coverage, and state laws will affect how beneficiaries are paid. In Tennessee these damages when paid by an insurance company are paid from the bodily injury amounts of the at-fault driver, or if you have to use your uninsured motorist and have the coverage it will be paid out of that portion of the policy.
How do I Submit Lost Wages to an Insurance Company
These types of claims require two pieces of evidence generally from an insurance company to settle prior to filing a lawsuit:
- Letter from employer and possibly pay stubs showing that you missed the work you are alleging
- Doctors note stating that you need to be off work for a specified period of time.
Are there ever problems once the above documention is received?
Yes depending on the circumstances. One example that comes to mind, is if the person is self-employed, they will need to have other documents, such as invoices from the same time frame from the last year and copies of tax returns. Proving lost earning capacity can be more difficult because the future is unknown but there are experts at attorney's sides that can testify to or against these lost wages. This could be easier for someone who was doing the same work in the same salary bracket for a long period of time.
Another issue with proving lost earning capacity is when someone is partially disabled. They might be able to return to work in another capacity but at a lower pay rate or work part-time. It is also not always possible to know how long a person might be disabled; they could recover slowly ,quickly, not at all, or even worse continue to deteriorate. In these cases, economic and financial expert witnesses may be called in to help determine the numbers. They will look at the plaintiff's education, previous work performance, extent of the disability, and possible job prospects and will submit numbers that take into account inflation, expected work years left and much more.
When Should I Return to Work?
When the doctors and you feel like you can and there are things that need to be considered. Deciding when to return to work depends on a variety of factors, including the extent of the injuries, age, and overall health. Some people recover quicker than others but pushing one's self too soon can worsen injuries.
There are a plethora of reasons why car accident victims return to work too soon. They want to get back to their normal lives, including their work routines. A victim may believe that they are fully recovered, even though daily activities, like walking or sitting, cause pain. Going back to work too soon can worsen injuries, so getting back to normal could take even longer or injuries may never heal.
It is also common for people to return to work too soon because they fear what their colleagues and supervisors will think. This is largely in part to the campaigns employed by insurance companies over the years to make it look like people fake being hurt to try and get a settlement. In 20 years I have seen this very few times but have had my clients accused of it much more and in circumstances where I knew my client was being truthful about their claims.
While it is true that these co-workers may disapprove, the doctor's orders are much more important. Co-workers will not be around if you end up paralyzed because you went to work to soon. If the injuries are not visible, the employee might even be harassed. However, many companies are much more supportive of their employees, sometimes more than the employee knows.
There will always be people who try to take advantage of a situation and claim they cannot return to work, even though they are completely healed. Again this happens far less than one would think due to the biases our media has placed in us about so many people faking injuries. Ridiculous! Too that point every insurance company on most claims are trying to screw someone out of something they are owed or coverage they have already paid for. They want to raise premiums and pay out less every year. This never changes as their duty is not to policy holders but instead to shareholders.