Utah Lost Wages Lawyer
Seeking and obtaining lost wages in a personal injury claim depends on several factors. Our attorneys at Handy & Handy will guide you through your personal injury claim and make sure everything is handled the right way.
Injuries can make it difficult to continue working. Whether you are suffering from short- or long-term injuries, we will help you explore your legal options for seeking lost wages. Your personal injury claim after an accident can help you recover damages for lost wages, which can make a significant impact on your finances if you suffered a serious injury.
What are Lost Wages?
Personal injury claims allow victims to recover any provable lost wages. Lost wages may be income from a current job or a future earning opportunity.
Lost wages claims are available for the time and expense incurred when attending medical appointments and vacation and sick pay accrued with an employer.
Automobile Accidents and Lost Wages
Personal Injury Protection or PIP is a part of one’s car insurance coverage and is the first source of coverage in an automobile accident. Utah requires car owners to carry PIP, also called no-fault insurance, to pay for medical costs, lost income, and other expenses regardless of fault in a car accident.
PIP payments must begin once the insurance adjuster has all of the necessary accident documentation, and they continue every month as accident-related expenses accrue.
However, there are caps on PIP benefits. Once these are exceeded, the at-fault insurance carrier or driver is liable for the victim’s lost wages.
For example, homemakers may employ a helper to perform routine household duties they cannot complete after an automobile accident. These services are capped by Utah statute to one year at approximately $20 per day, with the helper receiving the payment, not the injured party.
The statutory benefit for disability due to a vehicle collision is 85% of a victim’s gross income, up to $250.00 per week. This benefit is available after two consecutive weeks of disability and continues for up to a year.
To obtain these benefits, the victim must provide the insurance adjuster with a statement from their employer that includes:
- Verification of employment;
- Rate of pay;
- Average number of hours worked per day or week; and
- Number of hours (or days) missed due to the accident.
Proving Lost Wages
To be successful in a lost wages claim, the victim’s attorney must provide documentation of:
1) The time the victim missed from work due to the accident; and
2) The wages lost as a result.
When the accident victim regularly works for a company, this information may be in letter format from the employer’s Human Resources manager or supervisor and include:
- The employee’s name;
- Job title and pay rate;
- Weekly hours worked; and
- Days missed after the accident.
Seasonal, self-employed, and other types of workers may use other evidence to prove their income, like tax returns, bills, invoices, and payments received. Yearly income may be averaged to provide a monthly wage amount. Salaried employees may use a similar breakdown to provide an hourly wage for reimbursement.
Lost Wages Vs. Loss of Earning Capacity
Lost wages refers to the money a victim would have earned in their working capacity or line of work at the time of the accident. Loss of earning capacity is the inability of a victim to continue in their job due to the severity of their injuries and the necessity of having to take a lesser paying job or discontinue working.
Loss of earning capacity typically requires expert witness analysis and testimony pertaining to a victim’s remaining job skills and the marketability of these in the victim’s location and profession.
Documentation To Prove Your Financial Loss
Pursuing damages after an accident requires a thorough review and evaluation of the financial impact on your life since your injuries. Our lawyers have experience investigating and finding the right documentation to help build a strong claim on your behalf.
Every claim is unique and may require specific information depending on your injuries. In general, we will need the following documents for your claim:
- A note from your physician excusing you from work
- Documentation from your employer showing which days you missed work
- Documentation of your wages to show what you would have earned
We can assist in getting this information and will make sure we have all relevant documentation before we move forward with your claim.
Explore Your Options. Contact Us.
Not working because of your injuries can take a significant toll on your finances. We understand what you are going through and will work with you to file a claim that will maximize your recovery.
Our lawyers have more than 35 years of combined experience representing victims in Salt Lake City. Let us help you explore your legal options and help you understand how to seek lost wages after an injury. Arrange a free consultation by contacting us online or calling (801) 264-6677.