After a car accident in Atlanta, you may think your most pressing financial issue will be medical bills. But the truth is, many wrecks will leave you with injuries that mean you are no longer able to work. You may have some paid time off built up, but even so, by using your paid time off, you lose your right to use those days later on.
The good news is, Georgia law allows you to recover lost wages after an accident that wasn’t your fault. At the Law Offices of Andrew E. Golder, we have helped hundreds of people recover lost wages after a car accident. We know what it takes to go up against the insurance company and get the compensation you deserve.
Give us a call at (404) 869-1580 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with an Atlanta car accident lawyer today.
What Are “Lost Wages”?
In short, “lost wages” refers to any income you may have earned at work while you were too injured to be there. This period of time begins the moment you become injured to the moment you’re medically cleared to return to your job.
Because different jobs require different levels of physical activity, the time you miss may be different. For example, someone with an office job may be able to return to work quickly if they have a broken leg, but a warehouse or construction worker may be out for much longer.
“Lost wages” doesn’t only include your actual wages. It also includes any benefits and bonuses you may have earned, or that were lost, when you were out of work. For instance, if you use paid time off after the wreck because you can’t work but still want to get paid, you may be able to receive compensation for that paid time off. Or, if you regularly make tips at your job, those tips may be included, even though they aren’t technically “wages.”
What About Lost Earning Capacity?
Similar to lost wages, you may be able to receive compensation for lost earning capacity. Basically, this means the accident affected your ability to return to work for a long period of time. For instance, if you are temporarily paralyzed and need many months of rehabilitation to recover, you may be able to receive compensation for that lost earning capacity.
While lost wages are “special” or economic damages, meaning they have a specific numerical value that can be assigned to them, lost earning capacity is considered “general” or noneconomic damages. This means the jury can award any reasonable sum to cover lost earning capacity.
After all, it’s not just the money lost when you are no longer able to work for a long period of time. You may miss out on promotions or new and better jobs. In addition, you might also be compensated for the joy you receive from being able to work. While the loss of earning capacity is different than lost wages, it’s very similar. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you understand all of the types of compensation you may be entitled to.
Suing for Lost Wages After an Atlanta Car Accident
In general, including lost wages in your personal injury lawsuit after a car wreck is relatively easy — as long as you document your losses! First, make sure you are keeping track of everything your doctor tells you. This includes any treatment you’ve been prescribed. You should also make sure your doctor fills out paperwork detailing that you can’t work, and for how long.
You should also track all of the days you missed, and the reasons you couldn’t be at work. For the most part, this will likely be because your doctor said you can’t work. But it may also be because you have a doctor’s appointment or a similar appointment. Even if you’re only gone for a few hours, keep track of that time.
You should also keep track of all of your paystubs. This is the easiest way to show what you normally would make if you weren’t injured. If you are self-employed or make most of your money off of tips, you can also use your tax records to show how much you usually make. In some cases, you can get a “lost wage verification” document from your employer to demonstrate how much you usually make.
With this documentation, your Atlanta car accident lawyer will calculate how much compensation you may be owed for lost wages. This calculation will be included in your lawyer’s overall case for compensation that will include medical bills, property damage and more. The other driver will be responsible for your lost wages, generally through their insurance company.
Recover Lost Wages with the Help of an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car wreck in the Atlanta area, and you weren’t at fault with the wreck, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Andrew E. Golder, we have the skills and experience to help you get the full compensation you deserve.
Our goal is to settle your case out of court to make sure you get the money you need as soon as possible. But if the insurance company refuses to provide fair compensation, we have the skills to successfully take your case to court.
Call the Law Offices of Andrew E. Goldner at (404) 869-1580 today or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.