What If I Missed Work After a Los Angeles Car Accident Injury?

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Can I Recover Lost Wages After a Glendale Car Accident Injury?

Can I Recover Lost Wages After a Glendale Car Accident Injury?

Oct 9, 2023

California holds the dubious distinction of having the second most car accidents in the nation (behind Texas). In fact, the number of California car accidents recorded in recent years is as follows:

  • 2019: 64,288 motor vehicle crashes
  • 2020: 48,034 motor vehicle crashes
  • 2021: 57,734 motor vehicle crashes
  • 2022: 55,979 motor vehicle crashes

In 2023, there have been 40,426 car crashes reported as of September 7.

What If I Missed Work After a Los Angeles Car Accident Injury?

When you’re injured in a car accident, the recovery period could include missed time from work (and resulting lost wages). One of the most common concerns car accident victims express when meeting with a Dordulian Law Group personal injury attorney for a free consultation is whether or not they will be able to recoup lost wages.

What happens if you miss work after a car accident injury? Are your lost wages included as part of your personal injury settlement? In the sections below, we’ll provide all the information you need to ensure that your right to maximum financial compensation is protected after a car accident injury.

What are Damages in a Car Accident Injury Claim?

When you’re injured in a car accident due to a negligent driver, the resulting harm and/or losses suffered are known as ‘damages’ in personal injury law. Damages can include both economic and non-economic line items. Let’s review the differences.

Non-economic damages are considered subjective (particularly by car insurance adjusters) due to the fact that there is no set dollar amount which can be applied. Accordingly, having a skilled car accident lawyer from Dordulian Law Group is essential to ensuring that you recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve for various non-economic damages, such as:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Trauma
  • Reduced Quality of Life
  • Scarring or Other Serious Injury
  • Disfigurement or Loss of Limb

Economic damages, on the other hand, are easier to calculate – as they typically have a set dollar amount which can be applied. Some common car accident economic damages which may be included in your settlement are:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Emergency Department Treatment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Lost/Diminished Earning Capacity
  • Lost Wages

Let’s review lost wages in greater detail.

What are Lost Wages in Car Accident Injury Lawsuits/Claims?

In personal injury law, lost wages represent any income that you would have received if you had not been injured by the at-fault driver. Lost wages in car accident settlements are based on your history of employment – what you earned at the time of your accident – and are therefore easy for your attorney to calculate and include in a demand letter which will eventually be sent to the insurance carrier or at-faut party.

In California, lost wages in personal injury cases can include any compensation you would have earned had you not been injured in a car crash:

  • Regular pay (whether an hourly or salary employee)
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Self-employment/W-9 income
  • Vacation time, personal days, sick time
  • Perks or benefits applicable to your employment (meals, transportation, company vehicle, etc.)

In other words, lost wages include any out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred up until your car accident case either reaches a settlement or is concluded at trial.

In addition to including lost wages in your car accident lawsuit, a separate type of damages known as lost earning capacity may also be applied.

What is Lost Earning Capacity in a Car Accident Lawsuit/Claim?

Lost earning capacity differs from lost wages when issuing a demand letter to an at-fault party or their insurance provider. In short, lost earning capacity represents income you will be unable to earn in the future due to your car accident injury. While sometimes more difficult to prove than standard lost wages, lost earning capacity can include items such as:

  • Raises
  • Bonuses
  • Any type of career advancement or development

At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), our car accident lawyers have previously worked for major auto insurance corporations – today, they fight for justice on behalf of injured victims like you. We know all the tactics and tricks used by insurance adjusters to either deny or minimize legitimate claims from injured victims related to lost wages and lost earning capacity. Accordingly, when you contact DLG’s car accident attorneys for a free consultation, you can be confident that we will fight aggressively to secure you the maximum settlement you deserve.

How Long Do I Have to File My Car Accident Claim for Lost Wages?

California has a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury cases. That means you have two years from the date of your car accident injury to file a claim for lost wages. However, filing your claim immediately is strongly recommended – the longer you wait, the less chance you have of obtaining a successful outcome.

It should also be noted that some car accidents are bound to much shorter deadlines for filing claims – specifically those filed against government or public entities (e.g. a postal service truck, a utility truck, etc.). For such cases, you may have as little as six months to file your claim.

How Can I Prove Lost Wages After a Car Accident Injury?

The most important step that can help ensure you recover not only the lost wages you deserve, but also the various other damages you are entitled to after a car accident, is seeking immediate medical treatment. A medical exam establishes a record of your injuries immediately after the car crash – and this is essential when claiming any type of damages and seeking a financial settlement.

Once your health has been addressed by a licensed California physician, it’s important to contact Dordulian Law Group at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to begin the claims process. During the free consultation, one of our experienced car accident attorneys will explain the legal process, provide an overview of your rights and options, offer an estimated timeline for how long it may take for your case to settle, and include an estimate for how much your final damages award may be worth.

Additionally, your DLG car accident attorney will recommend that you:

  • Obtain a doctor’s note detailing any limitations on your return to work
  • Attend all follow-up doctor’s appointments (this is essential, as it demonstrates to the insurance company that you are devoted to the recovery process)
  • Document any symptoms that you may experience (whether before or after returning to work)
    • Rest assured that your team of DLG Glendale, California, car accident attorneys will be available 24/7 to answer any questions as your case progresses.

      Contact a DLG Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Lost Wages Claim Today

      Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is Southern California’s top-rated and most proven car accident and personal injury firm with an unparalleled dedication to each and every injured victim. We treat our clients like family and are committed to securing justice and maximum financial compensation for your case.

      Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

      Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM for your free and confidential consultation regarding lost wages after your car accident injury.

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