Ranked #1

Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles


Loss of Wage Insurance


Suing For Loss Of Potential Income


Lost wages for car accident injuries primarily cover the money you would have normally gotten from work if you weren’t injured in an accident. These are essentially the wages you are unable to earn due to your injury.
For example, say that you got into a vehicle collision and sustained severe injuries resulting in a broken leg. You are unable to work for 3 months until you recover enough to return to work.

During that 3 month absence, you are not receiving the money you would have if you never got into that accident. However, you are entitled to 3 months’ worth of wages if your car insurance policy decides to cover those lost wages. Lost income may include:

collision in the first place.

  • Lost wages for the amount of time you did not work.
  • Lost earning capacity if you suffered a long-term disability from the collision and are not able to make the amount of money you previously did before the incident occured.
  • Lost opportunities, as in losing the chance of going to a job interview because you are injured.

Necessary Attributes To File A Wage Loss Claim


These are the coverage types that are essential to use when trying to collect lost wages:

  • Liability Bodily Injury Coverage. If you suffered injuries in a car accident because of the other driver’s negligence, you are permitted to submit a lost wages claim through the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. If you get into an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or has poor coverage, you are able to collect lost wages under your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, if you have it.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage. Requirement for no-fault states and optional in a few others. PIP pays for injuries you suffered from an accident and lost wages up to your policy’s limits, without regard to fault.

Considerations for Multi-Car Crashes


The most complex issue in cases involving multiple vehicles is identifying the negligent or at-fault driver. These cases tend to involve high dollar amounts, and special investigators may be assigned by the insurance companies to untangle what can become a logistical mess.

The question, therefore, in determining liability, will depend on two legal concepts called duty of care and proximate cause.

  • Duty Of Care: All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and behave in a reasonable manner while behind the wheel. If a driver is found to violate this responsibility, he or she may be found liable for the accident.
  • Proximate Cause: Once issues regarding duty of care have been assessed, a clear connection between that breach and the accident in question needs to be established. Simply put: it must be proven that a driver’s behavior was the proximate cause of the accident.

Another important legal consideration in multi-car collisions is the issue of comparative vs. contributory negligence. The state of California abides by the rules of comparative negligence, which means that a claimant involved in an accident may get compensation against the at-fault driver even if the claimant is partly responsible.

Document Lost Wages


Once you confirm that your policy covers lost wages, it is required for you to get your documentation together in order to file a claim. The paperwork should have the following:

  • Physician's Letter. This letter must indicate the injuries and how long those injuries have made you refrain from working. Include detailed information on these particular topics:
    • Treatments.
    • Prescriptions.
    • Medical Expenses.
    • Check with your car insurance agent to see if there is a form available to have your physician fill out.

    • Employer’s Letter. This letter must include verification that you missed work because of your injuries. If you have a job occupation that is not a full-time position and salaried, you may have to give access to your tax returns.
    • Police Report Copy.

How To Calculate Lost Wages


The amount of lost wages is based on your pay rate and the amount of time you missed work because of your injury. The adjuster may consider increasing your reimbursement if you missed opportunities for job interviews or promotions.
It’s difficult to accurately justify the amount, but you should still inform your insurance company about any lost opportunities you experienced after your car accident injury.

If You Don’t Work On Salary


It is still possible to calculate your lost wages even if you have a non-salaried job along with having irregular hours or if you work on commission. One method of doing this is to show what you missed due to your inability to perform your job.
An example could be documenting and showing the missed appointments or reduction in billing invoices during the period of time in which you were recovering. Another method is providing your tax returns from the previous year as proof of the wages that you could have earned if you didn’t experience a car collision. If you are dependent on tips for you wages, you will only be permitted to show the lost income you had if you reported those tips on the previous year’s tax returns.

Exclusions To Lost Wages


Exclusions appear when the policyholder is given the choice of reducing the deductible by removing specific benefits. If you’ve made the decision to decrease your costs by choosing to cut your wage loss benefits, you’ll notice this on your policy. Typically, personal injury protection policies will incorporate this provision. Make sure you are aware of what you are doing when selecting this option. If you are injured and this results in an inability to work, you may potentially lose a lot. Discuss with your car insurance agent if you’re not sure whether your current PIP insurance coverage pays for wage loss.

Available Damages


Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain And Suffering
  • Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life
  • More

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we offer experienced attorneys that are readily available to help you get the justice and the maximum compensation you deserve. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk when making a free consultation to get your case started. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] for immediate legal assistance.

Buy now