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Lost Earnings and Compensation

After a car accident, you are likely suffering in a variety of ways—going back and forth to doctors and specialists to receive treatment for your injuries, making appointments with car repairmen and insurance policy adjusters, and dealing with the emotional fallout from the incident. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the damage done to your vehicle, you may be unable to get to work, or unable to resume the physical activities your job requires, and if this is the case, your employer may not be able to pay you your full wages, or anything at all.

If you’re not working, how do you pay your bills? How do you handle the mounting expenses of your recovery—hospital bills, car repairs, and more? Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you could be able to recoup compensation from the person who caused the accident to cover the time that you have to be away from work. This is called lost earning compensation or reimbursement.

How Does Lost Earning Reimbursement Work?

The person who caused the accident can be ordered to make restitution for all of the victim’s expenses, including any lost earnings, or the potential for lost earnings. In order to file a claim to receive this compensation, the victim has to prove that he was directly impacted by the car accident, and that the injuries sustained directly limited his ability to work. This injury could be something short-term, like a pulled muscle or sprained wrist, or something that requires a much longer recovery time, such as a concussion or a broken bone. The injury could also be one that exacerbated a pre-existing condition to the point that the victim was unable to work.

Lost earning compensation typically covers the amount of time that the victim must take off from work to recover, and cannot earn his usual salary. It can also cover the amount of time required to recover from a long-term injury, if the victim is unable to earn as much as he normally does, if for example he can only work part-time, or is reduced to a limited role at his current job.

Lost earnings may also cover the potential for earning capacity, if the victim is unable to make an interview or start a new job while he is recovering from his injuries. Additionally, the victim’s job may be eliminated while he is recovering, or he could be replaced, and that can be calculated into a lost earnings claim.

Filing a Claim

In order to file a claim for lost earning reimbursement, the victim of the accident must be able to prove the hours that he missed while he was recovering, and the amount of money he would have earned, had he been able to go to work. For self-employed people and those who don’t work regularly, it may be necessary to provide evidence of earnings from previous years to claim lost earnings during a recovery period.

If you have missed time at work while recovering from a car accident, your earnings may be covered as part of the at-fault party’s restitution requirements. To discuss your case, and your options, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer at Jackowiak Law Offices today.