I Missed Work Because of a Car Accident. Do I Need to File a Wage Loss Claim?

wage loss claim

A car accident can wreck more than just your vehicle–it can affect your ability to work.

Missing work due to a car accident can potentially destroy your finances. 

Unfortunately, California drivers experienced accidents that seriously injured over 16,000 people in 2019.

This means thousands of people temporarily or permanently lose the ability to work.

However, California law provides for a wage loss claim to recover compensation after a wreck.

If you miss work after a car accident, should you file a wage loss claim?

What Are Lost Wages?

In the car accident context, lost wages are the earnings you do not receive while recovering from the accident.

Lost wages can include the following:

  • Salary,
  • Bonuses,
  • Vacation time,
  • Overtime, and
  • Commission.

You may also sue for lost opportunities, such as missing a job interview or promotion while you recover.

If the accident permanently impacts your ability to work, you may file a lost earning capacity or a lost future wages claim.

Combining these claims means you can recover wages lost since your accident and wages you anticipate missing out on for the rest of your life.

Will Car Insurance Pay for Missed Work?

If you caused your accident, you probably can’t file a wage loss claim.

However, when someone else causes your car accident, you can pursue accident compensation for lost wages and other damages.

When Can You File a Wage Loss Claim?

You have only a limited time to file a lost wages claim. The California statute of limitations generally allows you to file a lost wages claim for two years from the date of your accident.

However, some claims fall under a longer or shorter statute of limitations.

Contact a personal injury attorney soon after your accident to make sure your claim is submitted on time.

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove a Lost Wage Claim?

When you’re out of work due to a car accident and hope to recover lost wages, you must gather evidence to support your wage request.

This evidence may help support your claim:

  • Paystubs,
  • Timecards,
  • A letter from your employer,
  • A company handbook detailing commission and bonus schemes,
  • Doctor reports detailing your need to miss work,
  • A log of vacation and sick leave accrual rates, and
  • Tax returns.

If you don’t have all this information, your personal injury attorney can help you gather it.

If needed, the law firm can hire an investigator to find evidence to support your claim.

How to Calculate Lost Wages

To calculate lost wages after an accident, gather documentation such as pay stubs and employer verification of missed work.

Calculate the total hours or days missed multiplied by your hourly or daily rate. Include any overtime or bonuses you would have earned. Keep detailed records to substantiate your claim for reimbursement from the at-fault party's insurance or in a legal settlement.

Who Pays for Lost Wages After a Car Accident?

After a car accident, lost wages are typically covered by the at-fault driver's insurance through their liability coverage. This compensation helps reimburse the injured party for income lost due to their inability to work during recovery.

Contact an Injury Attorney

Missing work due to a car accident can be costly. An injury attorney can help you pursue lost wage compensation after your accident.

Your attorney can calculate your past wages and estimate your wage loss for the future.

Then, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to recover your lost wage compensation.

At Starpoint Law, we help clients who have been injured in accidents.

We offer a free personalized consultation where you can get to know us, ask us questions, and learn your legal options.

If you hire us, we’ll work hard to get you maximum compensation for your missed wages. Contact us today to get started on your lost wage claim.

Call 310-424-9971 For a Free Consultation Today

Where You Can Find Our Sherman Oaks Office

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars