There’s no question that car accidents are incredibly stressful and a significant life disrupter. In addition to dealing with recovery from an injury and worrying about accumulating medical bills, there’s also the issue of a paycheck to consider.
One of the most common questions we get at Bryan Garrett PLLC is whether you can receive your lost wages for the days of work you miss during your recovery.
When Lost Wages Can Be Recovered
If another driver caused the accident that resulted in you sustaining injuries that prevent you from working, that driver’s insurance company would typically be liable for paying for all of your damages. This includes your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
In some instances, the amount is straightforward, and you’ll be able to get the money you are owed without any issues. For example, if you miss two weeks of work and your salary for that time period is $2,000, the insurance company will likely write you a check for that amount without argument.
However, things can get complicated if there is any debate about when you can return to work, whether you can come back at full capacity, or you can no longer do the job for which you were hired. In situations like these, your attorney may have to argue with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.
Calculating Lost Wages
To receive compensation for your lost wages, you will have to prove what the amount is. There are several ways to gather and present this evidence, including:
1. Pay stubs
3. Tax returns
The list above gives the insurance company a framework to calculate how much your salary is worth per day, but issues could also arise in determining how long you will be out of work. For example, you may be required to submit a note from a doctor to prove that you needed to be out of work for four weeks instead of two weeks.
In some situations, your employer may also present a note or other evidence indicating that the time you missed was due to the effects of your injury and not something unrelated to the incident.
Other Circumstances that Could Affect Lost Wages
Most of this discussion has centered around missing work after an accident caused by someone else. Whether the other party was 100% at fault or you share the blame could affect how much compensation you may be able to recover. Oklahoma follows a comparative negligence standard, which reduces your available compensation by degree to which you are determined to be at fault.
For example, if your share of the fault for the incident is 25%, then your lost wages recovery could also be reduced by 25%. As you can imagine, this could have an adverse effect on your finances, so your attorney will work to minimize or eliminate your liability by arguing on your behalf.
Circumstances may also change if the accident occurred while you were on the clock. In this case, worker’s compensation may cover your lost wages, and you will receive a check from your employer’s insurance, not the other drivers. Determining the party who pays your lost wages is something your attorney may handle.
Another situation that could affect your payout is when the other driver is on duty when he or she causes the accident. In this case, that driver’s employer (and not the driver’s personal auto insurance) may be on the hook for your lost wages.
Contact Attorney Bryan Garrett for Help After a Car Accident
As you can see, there are several variables that can affect the recovery of your lost wages. With more than 15 years of experience, Bryan Garrett PLLC is here to help. Contact us via phone at (405) 358-2342 for a free consultation. You can also text us at 405-388-1400.