This is the first part of a 3 part series called “My Neck, My Back” on neck and back injuries, common injuries that are often sustained as a result of a motor vehicle collision. The first part of this series will explain the difference between a disc bulge and a disc protrusion or herniation.
Need Legal Help Now?
Lost wages due to injury
Can an injured person be reimbursed for lost wages in an insurance settlement?
After someone is injured in an accident, they must not only deal with the aftermath of the injury itself, but often lose income from missed work. If the injuries are serious, this loss of income can be devastating. In a personal injury insurance claim, the injured person has the right to be reimbursed for any income lost while getting medical treatment and recovering from an injury.
How is lost income calculated?
When a personal injury attorney presents a claim to an insurance adjuster or to a judge and jury, the attorney must calculate the value of lost income to his client. The total income compensation includes more than just lost wages. It can include lost compensation related to lost vacation or sick days, pay bonuses, and other perks and benefits like use of a company car, free sports events, or any other perk you realistically would have enjoyed if not for your injury.
How do you give evidence of lost income?
Evidence of lost income can be provided in several ways:
- A doctor’s report that details the injuries, treatments, diagnosis, and prognosis for recovery, and the estimated time you should be off work to heal.
- A letter from the employer giving legitimate proof of the income and compensation lost during treatment and recovery.
- For self-employed people, who face additional challenges in giving evidence of lost income, hiring a forensic accountant may be necessary to document past income and forecast future income.
But the reality is that insurance adjusters and the liable party are going to approach your claim with an ample helping of skepticism. One way to strengthen your case and fight for full compensation is to show that your injury is common in car accidents.
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection and is automatically included with many auto insurance policies. Though individual policies vary, it may include $10,000 towards wage loss. But there are some important things to know about PIP and what it means to put it into action. Bill Coats Law in Bellingham, WA put together this article and video to help consumers understand auto insurance policies and what next steps to take in the unfortunate event of a car accident.
In wrongful death claims, it may be critical to the deceased's family that lost wages be proven. This is not always a straightforward process, and insurance companies have strict requirements on how lost wages are accounted. Click to read this article from Bill Coats Law in Bellingham WA about how you can make your case for wage loss.
If an accident victim's injuries are serious, it will be impossible to go back to work for awhile. Many people in this situation need to file an insurance claim to cover wage loss, and have many questions about this process. Click here for information on what you need to do to show lost wages for your accident injury claim.
States like Washington require insurance companies to include uninsured/underinsured motorist protection to all policy holders unless they specifically opt-out of this coverage. This might come in handy if you've been hit in a car accident by someone who has no insurance or not enough, and you've had to take time off work - or can never work again. Click to learn more about your options for covering wage loss if the driver who hit you has no insurance.
Lost wages is one thing, but what if an accident victim can no longer keep up with household chores?
It's easy to take health for granted, but if you are the victim of a car crash, suddenly a lot of things in life that were easy to do are harder - or impossible - to manage. Everyone automatically wonders about if they'll be able to work at the same job enjoyed before the accident - but what about other tasks? Attorney Bill Coats in Bellingham, Washington, talks about a rather obscure-sounding part of personal injury law where you can get money for yard work and other chores. Click here to learn about substitute domestic services in personal injury claims.
Paralysis is a devastating consequence from an auto accident, one of the worst imaginable. Life will be different forever after, and many victims may have to leave a job and be re-trained for another kind that accommodate such a disability, though that may mean less pay. If so, there is a way to be compensated for that wage gap, and it's known as "future wage loss" in personal injury lawyer terms. Click to learn more about what to do if you're facing future wage loss due to paralysis.
If you've been in a collision where you were ejected from the vehicle, it's very likely that you're dealing with some severe injuries. Sometimes those injuries prevent accident victims from going back to the same job they used to have. This doesn't mean you are fated to settle for a lower paying job for the rest of your working life. Click here for an article and video about wage loss, future wage loss, and your options.
Negotiating with an insurance company about wage loss has unique challenges. I created this video to talk about wage loss, future wage loss, and what you will need to do to prove it.
If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident and experienced wage loss, or you're looking at having to re-train for a lower paying job because your injuries will prevent you from going back to what you used to do, you've got options. Click here to learn about wage loss, future wage loss, and your rights as an auto accident victim.
Attorney Bill Coats’ took on a personal injury case in Bellingham, Washington, that involved multiple defendants. He obtained a settlement of over $1M for his client who experienced spinal injuries after a bike crash because of some high school kids' prank that went horribly wrong. So often, an injury to the neck or spine can mean complicated surgeries as well as a high incidence of chronic pain. While this particular case's story is unique and doesn't guarantee the same results for your case, it can help to get a glimpse of how the legal process works in personal injury claims with spinal and neck damage.