If you were injured in a car accident, you probably need to spend time in hospital and physical therapy to recover. A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer knows what this means medical bills and lost wages have a significant negative impact on your family’s finances.
The good news is that, if you were not at fault for the accident, you can recover lost wages and any other economic and non-economic damages from the other driver. Here is what you need to know.
You Must File a PIP Claim Before a Lawsuit
Because Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, you need to file a claim with your insurance first no matter who caused the wreck. Florida law only requires insurance to cover 60% of your lost wages. Florida law only requires drivers to carry $10,000 in coverage for both medical bills and lost wages.
If your PIP claim exceeds the limit, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Sometimes, you’ll need to file a lawsuit before the insurance company will pay you what you deserve.
The Types of Income Classified as Lost Wages
When you think of the term wages, you automatically refer to the pay per hour agreed with your employer. However, a lawyer knows that more types of income fall under this category. And you have the right to be compensated for their loss if you were injured in a car accident. These types of incomes are:
- Overtime pay
- Paid vacation days
- Paid sick leave
- Pay raise opportunities
- Pension plans
- Retirement funds
- Employer’s contributions to your life and health care insurance plans.
Moreover, the term lost wages includes both present and future losses.
You Can Get Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity
In the worst case scenarios, car accident injuries result in permanent disability or impairment. In this situation, you cannot return to your job. Instead, you must retrain for another type of activity. In most cases, this means lighter work, which pays less than your old job.
In this situation, your Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer will also calculate damages for loss of earning capacity. This represents the average difference between what you used to earn and the future prospects of being paid.
How to Prove Lost Wages in a Car Accident Claim
Your attorney will advise you to get in contact with your employer and obtain a statement of your income by week or month (if you are paid a monthly salary). Next, the lawyer will evaluate how much time you spent in the hospital and then at home, recovering after the accident.
Finally, the lawyer will speak to your doctor to understand if you are likely to make a full recovery and return to work. Putting all the information together, the lawyer will calculate your lost wages and attach the supporting documents to your letter of demand.
Call an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer!
Car accidents cause damage in every aspect of your life: your physical health, your emotional well-being, and your finances. Florida law acknowledges the fact that the negligent person who caused you these damages must compensate you.
However, insurance companies are only interested in their profits rather than in doing what is right and fair. This is why you need an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer to negotiate your claim and win the compensation you deserve, including lost wages.
As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us as soon as possible after your accident at (786) 686-2857!