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Can I Be Reimbursed For Lost Wages After a Car Accident?

lost wages after car accident
New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of injury and inability to return to work. If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, you might be concerned about losing your job or money because you’re in pain or physically unable to work. However, New York is a no-fault law, this means that when you have an accident you can recover your lost wages using your Personal Injury Protection (PIP). No-fault laws were enacted to keep people from filing lawsuits every time they were involved in an accident and needed to recoup their losses, including lost earnings. However, no-fault benefits have a cap, and the greatest amount you can get may not be enough to cover your medical expenditures, automobile repair costs, and lost wages. If you are unsure if you can receive compensation enough to cover all your expenses, you should contact a well-versed attorney to learn more about your legal options. 

After a Car Accident in NYC, Where Do I Turn to Recover my Lost Wages?

Car insurance

First, you will have to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know that you were involved in a car accident. As we mentioned earlier, all drivers in New York State must carry at least $50,000 in Personal Injury Protection. You have to file a claim with your insurer in less than 30 days from the date of the accident; failing to do so may jeopardize your chances of collecting compensation. Your Personal Injury Protection coverage is meant to be used to pay for medical expenses, car repair costs, lost wages and other damages, regardless of who is at-fault. Keep in mind that the insurance provider will cover 80% of your lost wages up to a monthly maximum of $2,000 in compensation. For example, if you make $2,000 a month, your insurer will have to pay you $1,600 for every month you are incapacitated to work. It is also worth noting that insurance companies will always try to pay you as little as possible or will try to make you accept an offer that might not be fair.

At-Fault Driver

Most people will agree that living with $2,000 is not enough for New York, especially if your salary is much higher than that. If your injuries are judged serious by New York State law, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier for compensation under their Bodily Injury Liability coverage. If your injuries are not serious but PIP coverage is not sufficient to pay for your expenses you have the option to file a bodily injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Additionally, you are not only entitled to receive compensation for all lost wages caused by the accident, you should also be reimbursed for PTO, vacation or sick leave that you had to use due to your injuries. In cases like this it is very important to seek professional advice. A personal injury attorney can guide you through each step of the process of filing a lawsuit and ensure you meet all deadlines. Furthermore, even if you are not obligated by the State of New York to engage an accident lawyer, it is critical to do so in order to improve your chances of winning in court. Even if they have a good case, most people who defend themselves lose their cases because they are unaware of the proper processes.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In case you suffered an accident while you were working you can file a worker’s compensation claim. Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers in New York. This protection can cover 66% of your weekly lost wages for the time that you were disabled. 

How Do I File a No-Fault Insurance Claim for Lost Wages?

  1. Initially, you have to file a claim with your insurance company in less than 30 days after the accident.
  2. Once you have filed your claim, you will need to demonstrate that your injuries are serious enough to prevent you from working. Normally, insurance companies will try to fight back. They can claim, for example, that your injuries aren’t severe enough for the type of work you perform. This is why you should see a doctor so he can properly assess the severity of your injuries. Having test results, medical records, radiographies, MRI data, or anything else that can assist you verify the severity of your injuries is critical for this step.
  3. After you’ve established that your injuries are as serious as you claim, you will need to show how much time you lost from work. To do so, you must request a letter from your employer detailing the length of time you were absent, as well as your hourly rate or compensation details. Pay stubs, income tax reports and other tax forms can be very useful to correctly determine the amount of money you should be reimbursed. Remember to include any documentation that can prove that you also had to use PTO, vacation or sick leave.

Time Limits to Claim For Lost Wages

The insurance company will require you to file a no-fault insurance claim in the first 30 days after the accident. However, notifying your insurer that you were the victim of a car accident should be one of the first things you do following the collision. If you find yourself in a scenario where you need to bring a lawsuit, you must adhere to the New York Statute of Limitations’ deadlines. In this instance, you have three years from the date of the collision to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, you have two years to initiate a wrongful death case if you want to recover the lost income of someone who died in an automobile accident.

How Long Does No-Fault Pay for Lost Wages in NY 

Insurance companies will sometimes pay lost wages over a three-year period. Keep in mind that the maximum amount they will pay is $2,000 per month. However, in order to keep receiving compensation for lost wages you must regularly provide disability notes to prove that your injuries prevent you from returning to work. 

Lost Wages Lawyer After a Car Accident

Recovering financially after an automobile collision can be exhausting and sometimes insurance companies take advantage of that by trying to pay as little as possible to the victims of a car accident. That is why hiring a personal injury attorney is one of the most important things to do. An experienced lawyer will know how to negotiate with insurance companies ensuring that you will receive proper compensation for all damages caused by the accident. Personal injury attorneys at Greenberg and Stein P.C. have years of experience helping people recover any lost income due to an accident. If you do not know where to begin or you feel the need to look for professional assistance, call us at 212-969-8784 to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. They will help you understand your legal options and the best course of action to ensure you a fair compensation.