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How to Calculate & Recover Lost Wages After a Car Accident in Arkansas

You’re driving home after a fun night out with friends when suddenly, a drunk driver plows into your car at a stoplight. In the blink of an eye, your whole life changes, and you suffer from severe and catastrophic injuries. During this time, you must miss months of work while you recover from your injuries and put your life back together again.

How will you pay your rent without your paycheck? How will you continue to support your family? Can you get reimbursed for lost wages?

An injury from an auto accident can leave you unable to work, thus making it difficult to pay bills and support a family. If you suffered an injury in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have a right to recover lost wages.

There are several ways to make sure you recover compensation for lost wages, but determining the right course of action is best done with the guidance of an experienced auto accident lawyer.

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our Arkansas car accident attorneys know how to help accident victims recover the money they need after a crash. We work quickly to secure maximum compensation for our clients, including payments for lost wages and loss of future earnings.

Call us today to learn how we can help you recover what you need after a serious Arkansas car crash!


Can I Recover Lost Wages?

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, you might wonder if you can recover lost wages. The answer depends on who is to blame for the crash. If you caused the accident, your insurance company will not cover the employment losses you suffered. However, if you purchased Personal Injury Protection coverage, you might have more options.

If another person caused the crash, their insurance company should reimburse you for lost wages and loss of future earnings. If the other driver does not have insurance, then you will need to turn to your own UIM/UM coverage.

There are exceptions to every rule, however. Due to the complexities surrounding compensation and liability after a crash, it is important to speak to an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer immediately.

What Are Lost Wages?

After a car accident, you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages. In your personal injury claim, “lost wages” refers to the money your employer would have paid you if your accident had not occurred. If your accident occurred because of another person’s negligence, losing this income is not fair. You should not have to miss paychecks because of hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, and rehabilitation.

The at-fault driver owes this money to you. However, before you can collect lost wages from time you missed at work, your Arkansas personal injury lawyer must establish the following:

  • That you were involved in an accident
  • That you sustained injuries in that accident
  • That your injuries directly caused you to miss work
  • Missing work caused you to lose income or benefits

You may hear the phrase “lost earning capacity” or “lost compensation” when discussing your case with your legal team and insurance companies. Lost earning capacity and lost compensation are different types of damages than lost wages. It is important to understand their differences.

Lost earning capacity is caused by any disability you have suffered, resulting in a reduced ability to work.

Lost compensation includes lost wages and other types of benefits you have lost, such as compensation for sick and vacation days, bonuses, and other perks of employment.

How to Recover Lost Wages with a Car Insurance Claim

After an injury accident, you can often turn to the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy to recover lost wages. Sometimes, you can submit a claim with your insurance provider.

Before submitting your claim to the insurance company, you need to establish liability and know what is covered under the terms of the policy. A law firm with dedicated Arkansas car accident attorneys can help you make sure you’re ready.

Several types of coverage can collect lost income due to missed work.

  • Liability Coverage – If you suffered an injury because of another driver’s negligence, you can submit a lost wages claim through the at-fault driver’s liability bodily injury coverage.
  • UIM/UM coverage – If an uninsured driver injured you, you might collect lost wages through your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage–if this is part of your insurance plan.
  • PIP CoveragePersonal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is optional in Arkansas. Purchasing this coverage will pay for your injuries and lost wages up to your policy’s limits. You can ask your insurance provider or attorney to examine your policy details to see if you have PIP coverage.

Once you submit your lost income claim to the insurance company, they might require you to take an independent medical examination, submit medical documentation, and fill out an employment authorization form.

This insurance company can then confirm your injury. They will also confirm that your injury prevents you from working and earning an income.

Be careful, however, because these forms also allow the insurance company access to your medical records and personal information. Be truthful on these forms and always include as much detail as possible when describing your injury and lost wages. Inaccurate or incomplete documentation will result in the denial of your lost wages claim and settlement.

How to Recover Lost Wages With a Personal Injury Claim

What happens if you find that your insurance policy or the driver’s car insurance policy is not large enough to recover your lost income? In this situation, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver to collect the compensation you need.

Traditionally, courts rule that victims can get reimbursement for all the income they would have earned during their recovery process. If you wish to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get paid for lost income, contact an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer before proceeding.

Your injury attorney can help you uphold the law and protect your rights to compensation during the legal process. While some recommend waiting until you recover or your condition is stable before filing a lawsuit, you should not wait to contact an attorney.

Valuable evidence to prove your claims can be lost or destroyed during this time. The sooner you contact an attorney at law, the sooner your personal injury lawyer can begin building your lost income case and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.

How to Prove Lost Wages

proving lost wagesProving lost wages is difficult but not impossible. When you submit your claim with the insurance company, you must show evidence that you have missed time from work and that you’ve lost income due to your injuries.

Some of the evidence you might need to prove lost wages includes:

  • Doctor’s notes or medical records – This is key to collecting the settlement you need. Your disability slip or medical records indicate that the car accident caused your injury. Your doctor should also include a note recommending you take time off work because of your injuries.
  • Paystubs – To know how much compensation you’re entitled to, you must show your most recent pay stubs, W2 forms, or tax filings showing hourly wage or salary. If you are self-employed, this documentation gets trickier because you must show proof of the money you would’ve earned during your recovery. You can submit a copy of your accounting books, records of past receipts, and other payment forms.
  • Letter from employer – You will also need to submit a letter from your employer that clearly shows the days you missed work due to your injury. It should also note your pay level or hourly wage and any hours you usually work.

After a car accident, your time is better spent on your recovery and rebuilding all that you’ve lost. Gathering evidence is difficult and time-consuming. For this reason, it is important to let an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer handle this for you. They can get the documentation you need to obtain maximum compensation after a serious car crash.


Understanding Lost Earning Capacity

One of the many damages that may be available to you after a car accident is lost earning capacity. This damage is often difficult to quantify, but it is vital to your lawsuit and the amount of compensation you receive.

Lost earning capacity essentially refers to losing your ability to earn an income. This is due to various factors, including physical injuries that prevent you from working or mental injuries that make it difficult for you to function in a work setting.

Lost earning capacity damages compensate you for losing your ability to earn an income. This compensation will help you cover lost future wages and earnings potential.

If you suffered an injury in a car accident and believe you have suffered a loss of earning capacity, it is important to speak with an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney. A Rainwater, Holt & Sexton lawyer can help you assess your damages and fight for the compensation you deserve.

How to Calculate Lost Wages

When you suffer an injury and need to miss work, you lose out on valuable income. It is difficult to pay rent, mortgage, and utilities while recovering. Missing paychecks can put an unnecessary financial strain on struggling families after a car accident.

Fortunately, you can recover your lost wages in a car accident claim. Your Arkansas car accident attorney can give you an estimate of your lost wages after a car accident.

Before estimating your lost wages, you need to provide your attorney with documents that support your missed time from work. This could be a doctor’s note telling you how much time you need to remain out of work to recover. In addition, you will need to provide your attorney with documents of your employment and wage history. Most recent tax returns, pay stubs, and W2s can help.

Calculating your lost wages makes a difference if you are paid hourly or a salaried employee.

Calculating Lost Wages When Paid an Hourly Wage

Take your hourly wage and multiply by the number of hours you could not work after your crash.

For example, suppose your hourly wage is $15, and you were out of work for five days due to your accident. If you typically worked 8 hours a day, you would multiply $15 x (8 hours x 5 days) = $600 would be your total lost wages.

Calculating Lost Wages When Paid a Salary

To calculate lost wages if you are salaried, you need to divide your salary and divide it by the number of weekday work hours in a year =2,080 hours. You would then have an “hourly wage.” Take that number and multiply it by the number of hours you missed due to injury.

For example,suppose you make $50,000 a year in salary and miss five days of work. Your total lost wages would be ($50,000/2080) x (8 hours x 5 days) = $961.

What if You are Self-Employed?

Self-employed individuals, such as freelancers or independent contractors cannot claim lost wages since they only make what they earn.

However, if you are self-employed, don’t worry.

You may be able to claim lost income instead. Lost income is different because it is the amount of money you would have made if you didn’t get injured in a car accident.

You must submit numerous documents of your average work income to claim lost income. Your attorney can help you build a case to obtain lost income after an accident.

Should You Take Time Off Work After a Car Accident?

One of the decisions you may have to make following a car accident is whether or not to take time off work. There are a few factors to consider when making this decision.

Your employer may have a policy regarding taking time off following an accident. Be sure to check with your HR department or supervisor to see what the company policy is.

You will also need to consider your own health and well-being. You will need time to recover before performing your job duties if you are injured. Even if you did not suffer a physical injury, you feel traumatized by the crash and need time to cope emotionally.

If you decide to take time off from work, you might receive short-term disability benefits. These benefits can help replace a portion of your lost wages. Your employer may offer this coverage, or you may have an individual policy.

You should also speak to an attorney to discuss your legal rights and options following the accident. An Arkansas car accident attorney can help you navigate the insurance claims process and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.

Taking time off work after a car accident might feel like a difficult decision to make. Be sure to consider all of the factors involved before making a decision.

What Could Happen If You Miss Work After a Car Accident?

If you’re involved in a car accident, taking the necessary steps to ensure your safety and well-being is important. This includes seeking medical attention and taking time off from work to recover. However, some people may be hesitant to do this for fear of losing their job or missing out on income.

While it’s understandable to have these concerns, it’s important to remember that your health and recovery should be your top priority. Missing work after an accident can have physical and financial consequences.

For one, if you suffered more severe injuries than initially thought, returning to work too soon could worsen them, leading to further missed work days and increased medical bills. It may also cause complications when collecting compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer.

In short, it’s important to take the time you need to recover after an accident. Not only will this help ensure a full and speedy recovery, but it could also save you from financial hardship.


Do I Need to Use PTO to Cover Recovery Time?

No one ever wants to get hurt, but accidents happen. And when they do, you may wonder if you need to use your precious paid time off (PTO) to cover your recovery time.

The answer depends on a few factors, including the severity of your injury and whether or not you have other leave options.

If your injury is serious and requires extensive medical treatment or hospitalization, using PTO may be your best option to ensure you have time to recover without worrying about work.

However, if your injury is less severe and can be treated with outpatient care, you may consider using other time-off options first, including sick days, personal days, or unpaid leave.

Using PTO for an injury should be a last resort, as it can deplete your time off balance and leave you vulnerable to burnout. However, don’t hesitate to use it if you need time to recover. Your health and well-being are always more important than work.

How Much Are Sick and Vacation Days Worth?

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, you might wonder how much time off from work you’re entitled to. How can you get compensation for that time if you have to use sick days or vacation days to recover from your injuries?

In most personal injury cases, sick and vacation days are part of your lost wages. In general, compensation for sick and vacation days is the equivalent of one day’s wages. After an accident, you will want reimbursement for those days. Otherwise, you won’t have that time if you need it in the future.

Of course, other factors can affect your lost wages, such as whether you can return to work part-time or if you need to take a lower-paying job due to your injuries. But in general, your lost wage calculation can include sick days and vacation days after a car accident.

Can You Get Disability After a Car Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident, can you collect disability benefits? The answer depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and whether or not you can still work.

In general, you may collect disability benefits if your injuries are severe enough that you cannot work or earn a living. To qualify, you must have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.

There are two main types of disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked and paid into the Social Security system for a certain period of time. For SSI, you must have a limited income and resources.

If you think you may be eligible for disability benefits, the car accident attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton can help you. We can help you navigate the process and ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

Contact Our Arkansas Car Accident Lawyers

After a car accident, seeking compensation for lost wages and future earnings is important. You deserve to have the resources and money you need to put your life back together again after a severe injury accident. Collecting compensation for lost wages is part of that.

With eight offices in Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock-Main Office, Little Rock- Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Jacksonville, Bryant, and Memphis —our Arkansas and Tennessee motorcycle accident lawyers are easily accessible when you need us. Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Injury Lawyers today. Fill out a free case evaluation form, or dial (800) 767-4815 and tell us your story.

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