How to Prove Lost Wages in Texas After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can flip your life upside down. Even mild or moderate injuries can interfere with your ability to work. Without an income, the financial strains of an accident can become far worse.
Luckily, you can potentially be compensated for the lost income and wages you face as a result of a car accident in Texas.
Today, the Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, will explain how to prove lost wages from a car accident.
Understanding Lost Wages
If you’re injured after an accident, and your injuries prevent you from working for weeks, if not longer, then the money you would have earned in the time you were unable to work is considered to be lost wages.
When filing a lawsuit after an accident in Austin, you’ll usually pursue something called “compensatory” damages. These are broken down into two distinct categories – economic and non-economic damages. Lost wages fall under economic damages.
Economic damages are meant to support you financially following your accident. So when you ask to be compensated for lost wages, you’re requesting reimbursement for the income you’ve lost.
Proving Lost Wages After a Car Accident
In order to recover compensation for lost income and wages, you’ll have to prove two things:
- You’ll have to prove that your injury affects your ability to work. The easiest way to do so is by obtaining a copy of your medical records and a supporting letter from your doctor.
- You’ll have to provide documentation to support the value of your claim. In other words, you’ll have to prove that you’ll really be losing out on the wages you’re requesting. The best course of action is to collect financial documents like pay stubs, W2s, and tax returns. You can also secure a letter from your employer to solidify your assertion.
Who Covers Your Lost Wages After a Car Accident?
This question depends on how you choose to seek compensation after your collision. The parties who may be liable for your lost wages include:
- The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company: Texas has fault insurance regulations, meaning that the at-fault party’s insurance provider is accountable for damages caused by an auto accident. Essentially, if another driver is to blame, submit an insurance claim and seek benefits under their bodily injury liability coverage. You may recover benefits up to the policy limit.
- The At-Fault Driver: If your damages exceed what the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will cover, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You can seek to recover lost wages (and other damages) from the individual in the process.
- Your Insurance Company: If the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to recover damages for lost wages from your own provider, as long as you added uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) to your personal auto insurance policy.
- Employers of Negligent Parties: Was the person who caused your car accident working at the time of the crash? If so, their employer could be blamed for your damages. For example, if you were involved in a car accident with a truck driver making a delivery, the trucking company could be responsible for the negligence of its employee.
- Your Employer’s Insurance Provider: Were you working while you got involved in your car accident? If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you can submit a claim to recover benefits from that policy. However, note that lost wages are subject to special consideration and calculation in workers’ compensation cases. You might only be able to recover a percentage of the income you’ve lost while disabled.
- Other Negligent Parties: Anyone who contributed to your car accident could potentially be legally and financially liable for the consequences. This includes the income you’ve lost out on and will lose out on due to your injuries. It’s imperative to ensure that your accident is investigated thoroughly, as it is the only way to determine what caused the crash and who is liable. Then, your personal injury attorney can seek compensation from all liable parties, which can include manufacturers of defective equipment, government agencies, transit companies, or other motorists on the road.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for Lost Wages After a Car Accident in Texas
Texas has a strict statute of limitations on all personal injury claims. After a car accident, you have a maximum of two years to file a civil lawsuit against negligent parties.
If you were recently injured in a car accident in Austin, Texas, and are struggling to make ends meet due to lost wages, look no further than the Austin car accident attorneys of Ramos James Law, PLLC, to help you get the compensation you deserve.
There’s only a limited amount of time to act, so DO NOT wait to contact us for legal advice and assistance today.