Lost Income After a Car Accident
If you have been in a serious car accident you will probably miss some time from work. Even if you were not hurt badly you will probably miss a couple of days before you sort out issues like getting to the emergency room and a family doctor and getting transportation arranged.
Missing a couple days of work at the beginning does not usually require a lot of documentation to prove that you missed work or that you needed to miss work. Things get more complicated when you need to miss more time.
Nebraska is an at-will employment state so you want to be as considerate as possible of your employer and if possible you probably should miss as little time from work as you can. That means going back to work even when you are not feeling great. If you are going to hurt yourself or aggravate your injuries by working you should stay home. Minimizing your impact on work helps keep you in good standing on your job and it reduces your financial hardship while waiting for an injury claim to finish up.
Sometimes you have no choice about missing time from work. When it is necessary to take time off from work you want to be able to prove that it was necessary and you want to be compensated fully.
There are several situations that can lead to lost income
The most frequent situation we deal with is when you are working for an hourly wage and when you miss the time you end up with a short paycheck. In that situation, your employer can help us document the amount of time you missed and how much it was worth.
Another way that people miss income is when they are self-employed. For example, if you are a construction contractor and you are not able to do your normal job you may miss employment opportunities.
Serious injuries may even affect your long term ability to earn a living. Many jobs require physical strength. For instance, if you are a nurse and you can no longer do the lifting and standing that your job involves you would have a serious problem. The legal description of this situation would be a loss of earning capacity. That occurs whenever you have physical or cognitive limitations that affect your ability to work. We may need to have your limitations evaluated by specialists who help us determine disability ratings.
Documentation of lost Income
When you have just missed a couple days immediately following the accident we may just mention the time you missed in our demand letter to the insurance company. Anything more serious requires complete documentation.
There are normally two parts of a lost wage claim. First, we need to document how much time you missed from work and the value of your time. That is the part of the claim that your employer can help us with. The other main part of documenting lost wages is being medically excused. It is important to discuss your work situation with your doctor. A doctor’s excuse will be needed by your employer and for us to prove you needed to miss the time when we are trying to settle your injury claim. The doctor’s excuse is the part that often gets overlooked. It is necessary to talk to the doctor about being excused from work. Without the doctor’s help, it will just look like you were being lazy and that you are a malingerer.
When you are injured seriously and permanently, we can have testing completed that measures your physical or mental abilities and gives you an impairment rating that will help put a dollar value on your disability.
For a complete assessment of your situation call (800) 533-0067 to discuss your situation with attorney Steven Montag. The initial period of time after an accident is very important. Do not wait to get your claim on the right track.