You may be wondering how to recover lost wages after an accident if you had to take time away from work to heal. With mounting medical costs, income isn’t something you and your family can spare right now. You may be surprised to learn you can seek awards for economic damages, such as missed bonuses, paid vacation time, and reduced earning capacity.
It all depends on the nature of your accident injuries and how they affect your ability to work. You will have to gather evidence of your lost wages and file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation. This is something our personal injury lawyer can help you with.
Filing an Insurance Claim to Recover Lost Wages After an Accident
Depending on the accident you suffered, you may be able to file an insurance claim to seek your lost income. For example, if you were in a car accident, you would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s provider because Georgia is a fault state.
Still, insurance companies may attempt to undervalue or deny your claim, especially if you seek monetary damages for reduced earning capacity. If you cannot negotiate a fair settlement agreement, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek what you deserve.
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Here Are Things to Know If You Plan to Sue to Recover Lost Wages After an Accident
When you file a lawsuit for an injury, you can settle before your case goes to trial. Insurance providers may offer you a fair settlement at that point, saving time and money in court fees.
Still, if you cannot agree on an amount, you can present your case to a judge or jury and seek a court settlement. A lawyer can represent you and navigate the legal process for you.
You Have a Filing Deadline to Meet
You should also be aware that if you file a lawsuit after an accident, you have a deadline to meet. According to O.C.G.A § 9-3-33, you generally have two years to take legal action. This doesn’t leave much time to spare, so the sooner you begin your case, the better.
Remember, an accident attorney needs time to investigate a case and negotiate with an insurer. Neither of these processes stalls the deadline, though. If you miss the deadline, the court could dismiss your entire case. Then, you would have no legal recourse to hold a negligent party responsible for your injuries.
You Must Have Evidence to Recover Lost Wages After an Accident
Whether you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you will have to present evidence of the following:
- Another party’s negligence caused your accident.
- You suffered injuries because of the accident.
- You had to take time off work to heal from your injuries.
While this may seem straightforward, you will need to gather a slew of paperwork to prove these things.
Evidence of Another Party’s Negligence
A car accident lawyer can help gather the following evidence to demonstrate another party’s negligence:
- A police report
- Hospital bills
- Video footage, such as from a traffic camera or surveillance camera
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Eyewitness reports
- Expert witness testimony, such as from an accident reconstructionist
It can be challenging to collect certain evidence, but a personal injury lawyer can help.
Evidence of Your Injuries
You will need medical documents, bills, and possibly your doctor’s testimony to prove your accident-related injuries. Without this information, seeking financial recovery for lost wages or any other expense would be impossible. This is why it’s so important to go to a doctor and follow your treatment plan.
For example, if you have a permanent disability, you will need your doctor’s prognosis to go after future losses, such as medical expenses and reduced earning capacity. You don’t want to be left footing the bill for someone else’s negligence down the road.
Besides, an insurer may attempt to undervalue or deny your claim if you forgo or delay necessary medical treatment.
Evidence of Your Lost Wages
Finally, a lawyer can help gather your wage statements and other documents proving how your accident affected your income. They may even hire an expert witness, such as an economist, to help determine what you should receive for reduced earning capacity.
If you cannot return to work or have to take a different job that pays less, a lawyer can seek the difference between your pre-injury wages and what you can now earn.
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Other Losses You Can Seek After an Accident
Along with your lost wages, you can seek other damages. For example, an attorney could make a case for:
- Pain and suffering
- Current and future medical expenses
- In-home aid and home modifications
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Out-of-pocket expenses
An attorney will know what to look for when assessing your losses.
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You Can Hire a Lawyer Who Works on Contingency to Seek Lost Wages
If you are already facing mounting medical bills and lost income, you may be wary of hiring an attorney. You can hire a law firm that works on contingency instead of charging upfront attorney’s fees or hourly retainers.
This will enable you to seek compensation without risking further financial loss.
Kaine Law Can Explain More About How to Recover Lost Wages After an Accident
Our auto accident lawyers can walk you through the process of recovering compensation after an accident, including lost wages and reduced earning capacity. You can explore your legal options with our personal injury law firm during a free consultation.
Call Kaine Law today and find out what fair compensation you stand to recover after an accident.