Experiencing a car accident can be life-altering, especially when it affects your ability to work. In Michigan, to claim lost wages from a car accident, you must have physical injuries. However, there is much more than meets the eye, and the process is purposefully complicated without the assistance of a lawyer.
Therefore, understanding this process is essential. Below, we outline all of the necessary steps to successfully claim lost income after a car accident.
1. Understand the Injury Requirement
In Michigan, you must have sustained “accidental bodily injury” to claim lost wages after a car accident. While you don’t have to necessarily prove your injuries per se, you do have to provide the following when filing a lost wages claim:
- Proof of your lost wages
- Proof through your doctor’s reports or testimony that you are disabled from work
Simply put, Michigan’s no-fault law Michigan requires “reasonable proof,” so that your lost wages claim is paid in a “prompt and expeditious manner.”
Additionally, if you were “temporarily unemployed” or working reduced hours during your accident, you can still claim lost income. Your payment, however, would be based on your earned income for the last month you were employed full-time preceding the accident.
2. Document the Accident and Injuries
After an accident, immediately document every aspect, including the scene, the damages, and most importantly, any injuries you sustain. Photographs, witness information, and a copy of the police report are crucial.
These pieces of evidence are vital for establishing the link between the accident and your injuries.
3. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Prioritize getting medical attention right after the accident. Medical documentation is not just crucial for your health but also serves as clear proof of your injuries. These records form the foundation of your claim for lost wages.
4. Notify and Communicate with Your Employer
Inform your employer about the accident and your subsequent injuries as soon as possible. Afterwards, keep records of all communications regarding not being able to work because of these injuries.
This evidence becomes important when you claim lost wages.
5. Carefully Track All Lost Income
Record all income lost because of not being able to work post-accident. This includes not just your salary, but also any lost opportunities like overtime, bonuses, and other benefits.
Remember; your claim’s validity hinges on demonstrating how the injuries directly led to financial loss!
6. Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage
Check your auto insurance policy for specifics on wage loss coverage under personal injury protection benefits.
Understanding your policy’s provisions is key in determining your eligibility and the extent of compensation you can expect.
7. File a Claim with Your Insurance Provider
Report the accident and your injuries to your insurance provider promptly. During this conversation, ask about the necessary documentation for a lost wages claim and submit it as soon as possible.
The efficiency of this process can significantly affect the speed of your compensation.
8. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have trouble claiming lost wages or calculating what you lost, talk to a personal injury lawyer. They understand Michigan’s laws around this. They can work with insurance companies for you and help make sure you get all the compensation you deserve.
In Michigan, the correlation between sustaining injuries in a car accident and the ability to claim lost wages is a critical aspect of the law. Understanding and complying with this requirement is essential for anyone seeking financial recovery after an accident.
For personalized assistance and advocacy in these matters, rely on the expertise of Wigod & Falzon, dedicated car accident attorneys.