If you’ve been in a car accident in Georgia, one of the first steps you should take is calling a car accident attorney. You’re likely dealing with hefty medical bills and other expenses from the accident. If the car accident was not your fault, you’re entitled to financial recovery for your costs. This compensation includes work wages lost from having to miss days of work.
A car accident lawyer can help you pursue that recovery. Personal injury lawyers who deal with car accidents specialize in helping accident victims get the money they need to both reimburse what they’ve already paid and cover future or ongoing costs related to the accident.
Victims are already stressed about how to pay for the damages from the accident. They shouldn’t have to worry about how to make up for missing work time too. If you were in a car accident, this article will cover the claims process for lost wages when working with an experienced Georgia attorney.
How Do Loss of Wages Claims Work in Georgia?
Chances are, you had to miss work for the accident and during recovery for your injuries. “Lost wages” refer to the amount of money you would have earned if the other driver hadn’t caused your car accident. There are a number of reasons you might need to miss work after a car accident, including:
- Injuries that prevent you from working or performing all your job duties
- Needing to stay home and rest in order to heal
- Having work restrictions from a doctor
- Medical appointments or procedures, such as surgery, during normal work time
Lost wages are just one of many losses a car accident victim can claim for financial recovery. After the car accident occurs, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering all costs related to the accident, and that includes missed income.
When you hire a car accident lawyer, they will help calculate your loss of wages before submitting an insurance claim. To do this, you’ll need certain documentation to prove your claim. Insurance companies will, unfortunately, look for any reason to deny your claim or pay out less than you deserve, so the more evidence and documentation you can provide, the better.
Here’s what you’ll need to provide for a loss of wages claim:
- Medical documentation
- Pay stubs and tax records
- Record of days you missed
- Lost wage verification form
If you receive work restrictions from your doctor, make sure they can provide you with paperwork for your employer. Your doctor will need to understand what you do at your job, especially the types of tasks you need to perform each day.
If your doctor says they think you’re okay to go back to work, but you disagree, let them know why you know you aren’t well enough to work.
Pay Stubs and Tax Records
Keep track of any recent check stubs or other evidence of your pay after the accident. You’ll be able to show your regular pay rate and any days that were missed or shortened because of the accident. If you can, also set aside pay stubs from before the accident to show the difference.
If you missed a long period of work during your recovery, tax returns and W-2s can also help show your lost wages.
Record of Days You Missed
Keep a detailed log of every day or hour you missed from work and why you missed it. Even if it was just a few hours you had to miss going to a doctor’s appointment, keep track of it.
Lost Wage Verification Form
Your employer, a supervisor, or someone in human resources will need to complete this form. It shows the amount of time you missed from work, as well as your rate of pay. Ask your employer about this form.
Your car accident lawyer will use this documentation to help prove the time you missed from work and that you missed it because of the accident.
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What If I Was Paid But Had to Use Vacation Days Because of the Accident?
Sometimes, you can even claim lost wages if your employer was paying you during your time away from work. For example: maybe you were still paid for the missed days but had to use vacation days, sick days, or were receiving disability payments. These are still losses that you wouldn’t have had to use without the accident happening.
Ask your lawyer about accounting for these losses on your claim.
Is It Necessary to Have a Lawyer for a Loss of Wages Claim?
It’s strongly recommended. An experienced personal injury lawyer who works on car accident cases will know the best way to compile evidence and present it to the other driver’s insurance company. They can also help you with your entire insurance claim, including medical costs, repair costs, and other damages that are harder to calculate.
These are details that only a car accident lawyer can fully handle when working to get you the best financial recovery possible.
Lost Wages Can Only Be Recovered If You File a Lawsuit in Time
To recover lost wages or any other compensation in a car accident lawsuit, you must make sure to file your lawsuit on time. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for a car accident case is two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time frame, your right to compensation is voided.
Other factors may also come into play that further limit the amount of time you have to file. The best way to ensure that you meet all deadlines is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Your lawyer can review your case and make sure that all paperwork is filed on time.
What If You Were Driving for Work at the Time of the Accident?
If your car accident occurred while you were driving for work, your lost wages might be covered under a workers’ compensation claim rather than through a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ comp claims are designed to make it quick and easy for accident victims to recover the money they deserve after a workplace accident.
An experienced attorney can help determine whether or not your car accident is covered by workers’ comp. If you do have a valid claim, your attorney can help you file all of the necessary paperwork to recover money for lost wages as well as other damages that you may have incurred as a result of the accident.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we routinely handle loss-of-wages claims for car accident victims. Our goal is simple. We want to get you the absolute best recovery possible so you can cover your costs and move on from the accident. For a free consultation, contact us today!
Call or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment. We will review your case and answer any questions you may have regarding lost wages or any other aspect of your car accident claim.