How to Recover Lost Wages After a Car Accident in PA
It is not uncommon for individuals in Pennsylvania who have been injured in a car accident to miss work. This loss of income can make an already difficult situation even more challenging.
If you have suffered a loss of income after an accident, our team is here to help you recover compensation. Depending on your case, we can either file an insurance claim or a lawsuit to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. We will assist you in determining the full value of your damages and gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. This includes compensation for any past or future lost wages caused by your injuries.
Contact The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for your free case assessment with our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers.
How You Can Recover Lost Wages After a Pennsylvania Car Accident
Compensation for damages, including lost wages from missed work, might be available to you if you have been injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania. Our Philadelphia car accident attorneys can assist you in navigating the claims process and recovering your professional losses, as lost wage damages go beyond just the income lost because of being injured. Future time off and loss of future earning potential are also included in lost wages compensation.
Lost wages are typically covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance in a car accident claim, yet victims who are not familiar with the process might face challenges in obtaining lost wages. It is crucial to accurately evaluate your damages to ensure that you receive compensation for any lost income and, if necessary, file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover lost wages.
Pennsylvania’s Choice No-Fault Insurance System
Pennsylvania has a choice no-fault system that operates through a hybrid approach. Drivers in Pennsylvania must select either “limited tort” (no-fault) or “full tort” (at-fault) coverage when they purchase insurance.
Full tort coverage is more expensive, but it also provides more options for compensation for injured victims in the event of an accident. The driver’s pre-existing choice will be respected by the state and the insurance company if an accident occurs.
In the case of “at-fault” auto insurance, an injured driver or passenger can immediately file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance policy or sue the at-fault driver, usually for negligence, in court. In either scenario, the injured party can seek economic and non-economic damages, with non-economic damages frequently exceeding economic damages.
Regardless of who is at fault for an accident, no-fault insurance will provide compensation. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is one type of no-fault insurance that provides coverage for bodily injuries incurred in a car accident. If no-fault insurance is chosen, the injured person cannot sue the driver at fault unless their injuries meet a certain threshold.
Monetary damages are typically limited to economic damages as non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are excluded by state law. However, no-fault compensation might not be adequate for catastrophic bodily injuries. Therefore, no-fault states usually have a threshold for “serious” injuries, beyond which the injured party can sue the at-fault driver for both economic and non-economic damages, as in at-fault states. Permanent disfigurement, for example, might be considered a serious injury.
Lost Wages That Can Be Claimed
There are typically two types of lost wages that victims can claim. The first type of loss is the most commonly known, and it involves the inability to work because of the injuries you sustained. This type of loss includes time spent away during recovery and time taken off to attend appointments with doctors and lawyers. It is usually easy to prove using pay stubs and other employment records.
The second type of lost wages is referred to as “loss of earning potential” and can be more challenging to establish. This type of loss occurs when an individual’s injuries prevent them from returning to work or continuing in their previous capacity. Proving loss of future earning capacity requires expert medical testimony to establish the permanence of the victim’s injuries and their impact on their employment. Although it can be a challenging process, it is crucial to ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve.
How Do I Prove Lost Income After a Pennsylvania Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car accident and have suffered injuries that have resulted in lost wages, you might be wondering how you can prove your lost income damages. It is essential to understand that proving lost wages can be challenging, especially for self-employed individuals and those who work on commission. However, if you are a typical employee, establishing lost wages is usually straightforward. You will need to provide evidence, such as your pay stubs, tax returns, and records of time off, to show the income you have lost since the accident.
Your medical records can be a crucial source of evidence when establishing lost wages. These records generally include doctor’s notes detailing your capacity to work and how your injuries will affect your job functions. Furthermore, you might need to provide additional documentation, such as a letter from your employer detailing your job requirements and the impact of your injuries on your ability to work or a vocational expert’s opinion on your ability to perform your job duties.
While there is no definitive list of evidence that can be used to prove lost wages, our experienced lawyers can help ensure that any relevant evidence is gathered and presented effectively in support of your claim. Our team can work with you to identify the best course of action and develop a comprehensive strategy to maximize your compensation for lost wages and other damages resulting from the car accident.
Can I Recover Lost Future Earnings for a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?
If you have sustained injuries that have rendered you unable to return to your former job or resume any work at all, you might have a valid claim for loss of future earning capacity. To determine the full extent of your loss, experts will need to examine your case thoroughly and assess the impact of your injuries on your future employment prospects.
When calculating the compensation for lost future earning capacity, your current income will be compared to your pre-injury earnings. If your injuries have caused you to earn less than you did before, you are entitled to recover the difference.
It is important to note that the losses incurred because of loss of future earning capacity are not limited to just lost income. Factors such as missed promotions, bonuses, and salary raises that you would have received had you not been injured can also be taken into account. Even if you are currently employed, old injuries that cause chronic pain can significantly limit the type of work you can do and the income you can earn. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that you can claim these damages even if you are currently working.
Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free case review, speak with our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940.