If you have been injured in a car accident, you are entitled to claim all economic losses resulting from your injuries. This includes lost wages for any missed time from work. A lot of people don’t realize that, under Georgia law, you can sometimes claim lost wages even if your employer paid you while you were out of work. For example, if you had to use leave days, or received disability payments, you can still claim lost wages for the time you were out. After an accident, there may be a variety of reasons that somebody misses work. Immediately after an accident your injuries may prevent you from working and you may need to stay home so you can heal. Many people get work restrictions from a doctor if they are injured and cannot perform all of their job functions. As a result, although you may be able to perform some types of work, you may have to miss work because you are physically unable to perform all of the tasks your job requires. Another common cause of missed time from work after an accident is for time spent going to medical appointments or recovering from a medical procedure, such as a surgery.
If you missed time from work because of a car accident, it is important that you have the necessary evidence to prove your claim. Insurance companies will try to find any reason they can to deny you full payment for your damages. While medical expenses are harder to dispute, the value of a lost wage claim is a frequent point of contention. If you document the claim properly from the beginning, it will be harder for the insurance company to challenge your claim.
Medical documentation. If your doctor issues you work restrictions or holds you out of work entirely, make sure he or she documents it or gives you paperwork to give to your employer. It is important that your doctor understand the nature of your job and the types of tasks you perform on a daily basis. For example, an office worker who sits at a desk all day may be able to work with certain injuries that would prevent a construction worker from doing their job. If your doctor tries to release you to work and you feel like you would not be physically able to perform your job duties, let your doctor know and explain why you feel that way.
Track your missed days. Keep a list of the days you miss from work and the reasons for your absence. Even if you missed a few hours for a doctor’s appointment, keep a record of it. Those missed hours can really add up if you have a lot of appointments.
Keep your check stubs. Your check stubs can be important evidence in a lost wage claim. Your pay stubs will list your rate of pay and should list any time you missed from work. You can also use pre-accident pay stubs to show how much you were making before the accident, as compared to after an accident.
Tax records. W-2s and tax returns can help prove a lost wage claim. This type of evidence is frequently most helpful if you missed an extended amount of time from work.
Lost wage verification. A lost wage verification is basically a form your employer completes that shows how much time you missed from work and your rate of pay. A direct supervisor or somebody in human resources is normally the best person to complete a lost wage verification.
If you missed time from work after a Georgia car accident, it is important that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C., personal injury is all we do, and we have extensive experience representing people who have been injured and missed time from work because of a car accident. Call us today for a free consultation.
About the Author
The Champion Firm is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.