Can I Recover Lost Wages After an Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and can’t work due to the severity of your injuries, then you are probably concerned about mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other looming expenses and lost money. Luckily, there are safety nets in place and legal recourse available to you that you can fall back on should you be unable to work after an accident.
What Are the Requirements to File for Lost Wages?
In a car accident in New York, no-fault (a part of the insurance policy of the car you own, that you were in or that hit you as a pedestrian/bicyclist) will pay for your lost wages. No-fault also might require that you file for New York State disability through your employer. To qualify, you must have been employed for at least one month to receive lost wages through your current employer. No-fault will pay you 80% of your wages up to $2,000 a month. Additionally, no-fault lost wages are considered to be tax-free. If you haven’t been with your current employer for at least four weeks, then the state of New York will go to your former employer. New York State disability will pay you half your wages up to $170.00 per week. New York State disability will pay you first and then your no-fault will pay you the remaining amount, if any. For example, if you earn $1,000 per month, 80% of that is $800.00 per month. In this instance, New York State disability will pay you $500.00 per month and no-fault will then pay you $300.00 per month in lost wages.
If you weren’t injured in a car crash, New York State Disability will pay 50% percent of your lost wages up to $170 per week for a maximum of 26 weeks.
To receive your lost wages in a car crash case, you must provide no-fault with a disability note every 30 days. In other words, your doctor cannot write a letter that says you will be out of work for three months. You must provide a note every 30 days to receive lost wages. It’s also important to note that New York disability will pay you lost wages for up to 26 weeks. If you are disabled due to your injuries for longer than 26 weeks, no-fault and New York State Disability require that you then apply for Social Security Disability payments.
Is There a Time When Lost Wages Won’t Be Paid by No-Fault?
In short, yes. For example, if your employer pays you $500.00 per week in lost wages or $2,000 per month, then you will not be entitled to lost wages through no-fault. Note that no-fault only pays 80% of your salary up to $2,000 per month. However, if you have purchased optional coverage through either APIP or OBEL, you may be eligible to receive more than $2,000 per month.
If your employer requires that you use your sick time and/or vacation time while you’re out of work, you will not receive lost wages during that time from no-fault. Instead, no-fault will send a form to your employer who must verify that you were required to use your sick and/or vacation time.
How Long Can I Receive No-Fault Lost Wages?
Your lost wages in no-fault claims could be paid up to three years after the date of your accident. This, however, doesn’t mean that you will be entitled to receive lost wages for that entire time.
You must continue to provide disability notes to prove you can’t work due to the severity of your injuries. Additionally, if your no-fault coverage is denied for any reason, you may lose your rights to receive any lost wages from no-fault.
Seeking Legal Help
Suffering an injury, especially one caused by the negligence of someone else, can be financially devastating—but it doesn’t have to be that way. No-fault is not the only way you can recover lost wages. Depending on the nature of your accident and the injuries sustained, you may have legal recourse available to you against the liable party. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney, like those at Greenberg & Stein, can help you get the money you deserve.
Our team has more than 75 years of combined experience and has handled all manner of personal injury and accident cases across New York City. We’re standing by and ready to help you recover lost wages and other damages for the injuries you’ve suffered. If you’ve been injured in a New York City accident, now is the time to speak to a personal injury attorney at Greenberg & Stein to discuss whether your case might qualify for additional compensation. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.