Maximize Your Claim_ Expert Strategies for Securing Compensation for Lost Wages After an Accident

Have you recently been hurt in a Chicago accident that someone else caused? If someone’s actions or wrongdoing have left you with injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay your own medical bills. You can file a claim with the liable party’s insurance carrier.

Doing so doesn’t just offer you a way to seek compensation for medical expenses. You may also pursue compensation for lost wages after an accident. If the injuries you received in an accident caused by another prevented you from working and earning an income, you can seek compensation for them when filing a claim.

Claiming Lost Wages in a Chicago Personal Injury Case: Tips to Keep in Mind

If you plan on seeking lost wage reimbursement when filing a claim, consider the following strategies. They may improve your chances of a successful lost earnings recovery.

Discuss Your Ability to Work with Your Doctor

Don’t just assume your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from working. An insurance company might dispute this if you take it upon yourself to stop work during your recovery.

Discuss the matter with your treating doctor. Ask them if you can return to work in any capacity. An insurance company may be less likely to dispute your argument if a doctor authorizes you to be off work due to your injuries.

Follow a Doctor’s Advice

Your physician could say your injuries currently prevent you from working. If so, they will prescribe treatment to optimize your recovery. Follow their advice thoroughly. The insurance claims adjuster needs to see that you’re not trying to extend your recovery to secure more compensation than you deserve.

In some personal injury lost wages cases, claimants might intentionally slow their recoveries. They may do so to avoid returning to work as soon as they can. Don’t give a claims adjuster any reason to accuse you of engaging in this fraudulent practice.

Seek All the Compensation You Deserve

When filing accident compensation claims, injured people often don’t know how much compensation they’re entitled to. That’s partially because filing a claim isn’t a task many people have experience with.

Research shows that only 0.7 percent of drivers with liability insurance in the U.S. have bodily injury claims in a given year. The claims process is one that few are thoroughly familiar with. Thus, when you file a claim, whether for a car accident, a slip and fall, or a product liability injury, you may be unaware of the types of losses for which you may seek compensation.

Insurance claims for lost wages can account for more than just the income you’ve already lost. They may also account for lost future income or earning capacity.

Perhaps your injuries are severe. Maybe it’s impossible to tell exactly when you’ll be able to work. If your injuries are particularly serious, you may never be able to work again.

You may estimate how much income you would have earned in the future had you not been injured. Arriving at an accurate estimate might require accounting for raises you likely would have earned in addition to bonuses, 401(k) matches, and other benefits. When seeking compensation for lost wages after an accident, you may also include this future income.

Coordinate with Your Employer

Your employer may write a letter to the insurance company documenting your lost wages and benefits. Matters the letter should address include:

  • How much work you missed
  • How missing work affected your pay
  • Whether you were in line for any bonuses or promotions before sustaining injuries
  • Whether missing work impacted your benefits

It’s also wise to gather other documentation of lost wages yourself. For example, you may gather copies of pay stubs documenting your pre-accident income.

Collect Your Accounting Records

Claiming lost wages can be more complicated if you’re self-employed. Proof of your prior income can include tax returns, accounts receivable, outstanding invoices, and a copy of your calendar pages showing scheduled work that had to be postponed or canceled.

Gather as much financial documentation as you can when submitting an insurance claim for lost wages. Invoices and other such documents may show an insurer how your earnings have changed since an accident.

Keep a Journal

Keeping a pain journal while a personal injury case is pending is often a wise idea. Sometimes, claimants can seek compensation for intangible losses like pain and suffering. Keeping a pain journal is a way for someone to document such a loss.

A pain journal may also play an important role in your claim if you’re seeking compensation for lost wages. If your journal reflects similar difficulties as those noted by your doctor at your appointments, this supporting evidence could help prove that you must be off work and that you should be compensated for the wages you’re missing while off work.

Coordinate With Professionals

an attorney talking to a woman securing compensation for lost wages after an accident

An insurance company may stubbornly refuse to offer proper compensation for lost wages. An insurer may argue that you’ve failed to provide sufficient documentation of such losses.

Hopefully, such disputes won’t arise. If they do, you may have to coordinate with various professionals to strengthen your claim.

A vocational professional may assess your earning capacity. By accounting for such factors as age and work experience, they could explain how your injuries affect your earnings. They could prepare a labor market survey to show whether a stable market exists for a person with your post-injury impairments. Their expert testimony may show an insurance company you deserve the compensation you’re seeking.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

Receiving compensation for lost wages after an accident is possible. However, the process of pursuing it is often complex and overwhelming.

It helps to get professional legal advice on obtaining compensation for lost wages and other such losses in these circumstances. Speaking with an attorney can help you better understand how to build a strong case. If you hire a lawyer, they can also assist you in gathering the documentation necessary to prove the value of your lost wages, both current and future.

At JJ Legal, we know that building a case can take time. Our team doesn’t rush the process, and we aggressively seek every penny our clients deserve. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 312-200-2000 for a free case review with a Chicago personal injury lawyer.

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