Missed Work Due to a Car Accident Injury? It’s Time to File a Wage Loss Claim
Managing injury recovery is the top priority after a car or truck accident. Your health certainly comes first in these situations. However, once the dust settles after an accident, it’s time to look at wage loss claims. If you were injured in an accident at the fault of another driver, and you are unable to work, you are likely eligible to be compensated for your lost wages.
In this blog, we will cover the different types of wage losses, the filing process, the relevant insurance policies, and important wage loss regulations in the state of Oregon.
Defining Wage Loss Claim Terms
Before we dive into the conditions that may apply to your situation, it’s important to have a general understanding of the different terms that are related to these claims.
- Lost Wages: this is the amount of money you would have made during the time that you missed work after your accident.
- Lost Opportunities: these are documented events that you missed after your accident that you were unable to attend. For example, this could be a job interview, job fair or conference. Missing out on these events negatively affected the future of your career.
- Lost Earning Capacity: This comes into play if the injury that you sustained in your accident negatively impacts your ability to earn as much money as you did previous to the accident. Depending on your field of work, you may not have the physical capabilities to carry out your job in the same way.
Lost Future Wages: This is tied in with lost earning capacity that we just mentioned above. However, lost future wages apply if you are completely unable to work in your previous career again due to the severity of your injury.
The Filing Process
Now that we have covered some of the basic terms related to wage loss claims, let’s talk about how to file. The process for how you do this will depend on your working situation. If you work for a company, your HR department or manager can write a letter to your insurance company. This letter will cover your job responsibilities, pay rate, number of hours worked per week and the number of days missed due to the injury. If you are self-employed, you will need to gather invoices, contracts and other details that outline the amount of time you work, as well as the amount of money that you make.
It is essential to communicate with a personal injury attorney to ensure that all of the proper information is submitted so that you come away with the correct compensation that you deserve for your lost wages.
Working with your Insurance
Putting a claim through to your insurance company is the key step in the process. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to handle this properly to ensure that your claim is executed accurately. Insurance companies can be difficult to communicate with if you are not familiar with the way in which they operate. Trust us on this one — it’s best to leave this process up to your lawyer.
Oregon Laws to Know
Every state has its own set of laws when it comes to lost wages. Here are some important laws to note here in the state of Oregon:
- There is a 14-day disability period that must be met before wage loss benefits take effect. This means you must have taken off work for 14 calendar days before you can receive wage losses.
- Wage loss payment will be 70% of your normal wages (up to a maximum of $3,000 per month).
- These wage loss benefits are available for an aggregate of 52 weeks.