Car accidents disrupt your entire life if you suffer a serious injury, you could be recovering for days, weeks, and in some cases months. This means you are likely facing time off from work and losing not only your normal salary but you may be forced to give up some perks associated with your employment.

Louisiana’s law allows victims of car accidents to file claims for their losses as described in Louisiana Civil Code Title V, Chapter 3, Art. 2315 which includes lost income. Victims should be aware of what constitutes lost wages as well as what documentation is needed to verify their losses.

Understanding Lost Income While Recovering from Car Accident Injuries

When you accept a job, you are accepting more than a salary or hourly wage. Along with the hourly wage or salary, your employer likely offers some additional perks which can be claimed as part of a lost wages claim. Some typical perks and benefits you may be missing out on when you are out of work recovering from your injuries. Some benefits you may be losing include:

  • Vacation and Sick Days — if you need to take sick or vacation days as part of the time you take off to recover form your injuries, you will not have the benefit of that time in the future. In most cases, you can recover those days in the form of compensation as part of a lost wages claim.

  • Other Compensable Time Off — many companies offer employees days off including holidays, birthdays, earned comp time, and personal days. If you miss any of these days and are not paid by your company for them, they may be part of a lost wages claim after you suffer an accident injury.

  • Overtime, Bonuses, and Other Compensation — if you have historically worked overtime hours, received production or sales bonuses, or you could have earned commissions, these amounts may be part of a lost wage claim. Your financial status should not be negatively impacted because you were injured through no fault of your own. Claims should also include any raises or other increases you may have had to forfeit while you were recovering from your injuries.

  • Employer-Offered Benefits — many employers offer benefits like profit-sharing plans, the ability to purchase stock options, and life insurance. During the time you are unable to work, these benefits may be unavailable to you. If this is the case, the economic losses can be included in your lost wage claim.

  • Matching Contributions — if your employer normally matches your contributions to a company-sponsored retirement fund you are eligible to claim the loss you suffered. In addition, you will be missing out on payroll contributions to Medicaid and Social Security which may also be included in a lost wage claim.

Showing Proof for Wage Loss Claims

It is important to understand every insurance company involved in an accident claim will do everything in its power to minimize the amount of your claim. This is especially true when it comes to lost wages and estimated future lost wages. Therefore, documenting lost wages is critically important. Some ways you can prove your actual losses include:

  • Full medical disclosure — your physician, and any physician who has treated you for your injuries may be contacted by a personal injury attorney to provide a narrative. This narrative will generally be expected to include information about the time you are going to need to recover prior to returning to work. It should also include information regarding the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident so the insurance company can see clear proof the time lost has a direct association with the accident. The more detail, including when you can return to work and any restrictions once you do, the better.

  • Employer statement about income — on the company letterhead the statement should include information about all the income and benefits which were lost while you recovered from your injury. This includes days off for recovery, what income you were entitled to on the day you sustained an injury, information regarding normal hours worked during each pay cycle and overtime hours you would have normally worked had you been available (based on past overtime).

  • Employer statement about “bonus” income — any work which may have resulted in bonuses or commissions which you missed out on, information regarding earned time off — sick days, vacation days, holidays, etc. — which you missed out on or had to use while recovering. If your employer offered benefits that were not available during the time you were recovering, those should also be documented. Your attorney can explain this further if necessary.

Those who are self-employed, or who have declared income from tips may need to provide other proof of income to successfully demonstrate their losses for wages. Remember, all financial losses related to your injuries are compensable and your ability to get these amounts compensated may hinge largely on what approach is taken.  This is why it is important for victims of a car accident to work with an experienced accident injury lawyer following a car accident.

Getting Legal Help for Lost Wages Claims

Victims of car accidents often believe they can handle negotiations with insurance companies on their own. This is particularly true when they feel the accident was not their fault and the reports obtained from police and others at the scene clearly show the other driver was at fault. However, negotiating with insurance companies on your own is seldom a good idea. Remember, you might be talking to an adjuster or another representative from the company but — they are talking to lawyers.

Insurance company attorneys know the most important thing for the insurance company is saving money on claims. After all, this is how they make money — their clients pay premiums that boost their bottom line, and claims paid out decrease their profit. It is never a good idea to allow an insurance company to dictate the process of filing a claim. You should be working with a legal team who will advocate on your behalf and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to receive, including lost wages. Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible so you know your rights. Allow them to work with the insurance company to reach a settlement so you have the best chance of getting the maximum amount of compensation.

Contact a Louisiana Car Accident Attorney At AKD Today

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Louisiana, it’s important to understand the process of filing an insurance claim and what to expect. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process, ensuring you know your rights and what steps to take next. For more information on long insurance claims, visit our long insurance claim page. If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, we can help you understand how insurance may cover your damages; learn more at our insurance pay for drunk driver page.

In cases involving multiple cars, determining liability can be complex, but our team has the expertise to handle these situations, as explained on our liability in multi-car accidents in New Orleans page. For some lighter reading, check out our fun category and holiday category.

With years of proven experience in multiple cases and the results to boot, you are in safe hands with us. See what our clients say before you make your decision and choose the right fit for you. In case you have queries, you can check our platform for other related questions that commonly are raised or reach out to us directly for free. In case this is not the type of case you need help with, you can look into our practice areas to find the right direction. Contact us today for your free consultation. 

In 2003, after being dissatisfied with the quality of legal care for victims of car accidents, Roderick ‘Rico’ Alvendia sought to establish a new firm focused on providing high-quality legal services to aid injured victims and their families. J. Bart Kelly, sharing Rico’s passion for upholding justice, joined the firm later that year, and established a partnership.

  • They helped me with every need possible. The back issues I had could have been much worse if they didn’t step in and help me. Bart, Megan, and all the people that work for this legal team are amazing. I would recommend them to anyone. Thank you all for helping me each step of the way. I can’t thank these people enough.

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  • Attorney Kelly is an impeccable attorney. He has represented me extremely well. I was very, very, very pleased with the outcome of my settlement. He’s highly recommended … to give assistance to anyone. I thank him for his services and I’m super elated over the way he handled the case. He is a phenomenal lawyer.

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  • I am very grateful for Mr. Bart’s assistance. He was very professional and fair. I never felt like a client with him. I always felt like a close friend. Also, I would like to thank everyone in the office for being friendly, kind, and for helping me.

    - Glac Mantuso

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  • J. Bart Kelly is the best attorney I have ever met. He is intelligent, caring, understanding, and knows how to protect his clients. I love his strong take-charge attitude to fight for what is right.

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  • I was involved in a terrible accident and had a lot of serious injuries. I was so happy that Bart (and his team, including his nurse paralegal) was my attorney. The results were much more than expected as far as the settlement. Thanks.

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  • I received exceptional service from the law office of Bart Kelly. He is a great attorney who cares about what you are going through, and I am very pleased with the outcome.

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