Car accidents often result in hardworking people missing time at work and losing money due to headaches, back pain, broken bones, and other injuries. In South Carolina, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is required to compensate you for lost wages so long as a few factors are true.
3 Steps to Recover Lost Wages After a Car Wreck
1. We have to prove liability. In other words, you, or your accident attorney, must establish that another person or business is in fact responsible for the crash.
2. We must prove that your injury prevented you from working. This second element often requires medical evidence in the form of a work excuse. If a doctor does not give you a work excuse, it is hard to recover lost wages. Insurance companies will try to argue that you could have worked after your car accident if a doctor did not state otherwise.
3. We must provide documentation regarding your lost earnings. If you work for someone else, this is relatively easy. We will send a “Lost Wage Statement” to your employer or supervisor with instructions on how to complete and return it to our office. However, if you work for yourself, you may have to provide the previous year’s tax information to verify how much money you make and how much the accident has cost you. You may also provide proof of payments that were made to third parties you had to hire in order to fulfill the duties that you are usually responsible for.
I always tell clients, "If you can work, you should. If you can’t work because of your injuries, you need to tell your doctor exactly what your job requires and ask for a work excuse.”
Every Dollar You Lose Due To Time Missed May Be Recovered
Often times, a doctor will place someone hurt in a car wreck on light duty. If you are placed on light duty, you should inform your employer of this fact, and attempt to perform any light duties available at your job. If there is no light duty available, you can either stay out-of-work, attempt to perform regular duties at your own risk, or seek a light duty job. No matter which option you select, any income you lose because of another driver’s negligence should ultimately be recovered in a settlement.
Furthermore, even if you receive compensation based on disability coverage or paid-time-off, you may still recover lost wages for time missed. The at-fault party is not allowed to pay you less simply because you have disability insurance or vacation days.
Put simply, every dollar someone in South Carolina loses due to a car accident may be recovered so long as the facts on their side. If an insurance company is telling you any different, or acting as if you are greedy for simply trying to recoup the money you lost due to time missed, you don’t have to take them on by yourself. Our car accident attorneys are here to answer your questions and guide injured people toward justice. For a free consultation and free copies of my books, call me today at (803) 790-2800.