Traffic accidents are not always severe, but even when minor, the damages could be significant. The first thing people often think of is the costly medical treatments needed to aid their recovery. While not wrong, a victim’s lost wages after a crash could also be quite extensive. If a victim is unable to work for weeks, months or even longer, it can cause extreme financial stress.
Crash victims will likely need to file an injury claim or third-party lawsuit to recover all of their losses, including medical costs. Yet these claims can take months or longer to resolve. However, if you get injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, could it be possible to get back lost wages sooner?
Schmidt Kramer explains more about lost wages after a crash, including what they are and how victims may be able to get that money back more quickly.
Need help with an injury claim? Our Harrisburg vehicle crash attorneys have extensive experience and a history of proven results.
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What Are Lost Wages After a Crash?
If you suffered injuries in a crash and are unable to work while recovering, you are losing income every day. In this situation, your lost wages are the income you would normally have been paid by your employer for hours worked.
What is a Lost Wages Claim?
A lost wages claim only includes your loss of regular income from the time of your accident until you are able to return to work.
What a lost wages claim does not include, however, is other types of lost compensation or loss of earning capacity. These damages may include additional things, such as pay bonuses, you would have earned if it were not for the crash.
You can file for lost compensation, loss of earning capacity and your other damages through an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.
Does Pennsylvania No-Fault Insurance Pay for My Lost Wages After a Crash?
If you have a valid claim, you may be eligible to receive lost income benefits while recovering from your injuries. That said, whether or not your Pennsylvania no-fault insurance will pay for your lost wages after a crash also depends on the type of policy you purchased.
Pennsylvania requires all drivers to meet state insurance requirements. This includes personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. However, your PIP coverage may not include lost income benefits. You are only required to purchase medical benefits and only a minimum of $5,000 in coverage.
Optional coverages available as part of your PIP insurance include:
- Additional medical benefits – up to $100,000
- Income loss benefits – provides up to 80% of gross income losses
- Accidental death benefits – up to $25,000
- Funeral benefits – $2,500
- And more
This is something you should discuss with your insurance company each time you renew your policy. Doing this may seem redundant, but it will help you to be sure you have and maintain the coverage you need.
If you have income loss benefits, you may be able to claim your lost wages faster than through an injury claim.
How Do I File a Claim for Lost Wages After a Crash?
If your PIP coverage includes lost income benefits, then you can file a claim for those damages directly through your insurance company. This is usually as simple as contacting your insurer and making a request.
If your PIP coverage does not include lost wages benefits, you will have to go a different route to recover that income.
What if My Pennsylvania PIP Insurance Does Not Cover Lost Wages?
If you did not purchase optional lost income coverage, you will not have access to those benefits under your PIP policy. This does not mean you are barred from recovering your lost wages. You simply may not be able to get that lost income back as quickly. What it also means is that your lost wages will need to be included with the rest of the damages as part of your legal claim. This means you can seek to recover these damages through the at-fault party’s liability insurance or by filing a third-party lawsuit.
What Do I Need to Prove Lost Wages After a Car Accident?
To recover your lost wages after a crash, you will need to first prove the other driver’s negligence. You will also need to establish that your injuries were the result of that driver’s negligence. This is something that a licensed attorney can help you with. To verify how much income you have lost, you should be able to provide your paystubs or other documentation from your employer.
Why Should I Consider Seeking Legal Help For My Lost Wages Claim?
Crash victims who are represented by a licensed attorney often recover significantly more compensation than those who do not. Our qualified legal team handles these types of cases every day, and that experience benefits our clients.
When we take on a car crash claim, it means your best interests are protected and you can focus on your physical recovery. Having Schmidt Kramer handle your claim also means we are prepared to:
- Fully investigate your accident, including all parties who may be liable
- Communicate with third parties, such as the insurance company, on your behalf
- Make sure you do not miss any legal deadlines, such as the statute of limitations
- Accurately calculate your damages so no compensation gets left on the table
- Negotiate on your behalf for the maximum possible compensation
- Go to court on your behalf if necessary
Call Our Trusted Law Firm to Learn About Your Legal Options
At Schmidt Kramer, we understand how intimidating it can be to pick up the phone to call an attorney. You might have concerns about the costs or maybe you are unsure what to expect when you contact a lawyer. If you wait too long call, however, it could be a lot harder for you to recover your lost wages and other damages.
Our staff can take your call anytime of day or night. If you have questions about the legal process or whether you may have a claim, call for your FREE case review today. There is no risk or obligation. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are also zero upfront costs or fees to pay. We only collect the fees for our services if we win your case.
Call Schmidt Kramer for legal help. (717) 727-1403