If you have been in a serious car accident, you likely missed some work, whether it was to attend doctors’ appointments, go through physical therapy, or were unable to work during your recovery. While some jobs provide a limited amount paid time off, for other employees the loss of income is immediate. That’s why it is important to know what compensation is available for lost wages after a motor vehicle accident.
No Fault Benefits
Auto accidents in Michigan are covered by no fault auto insurance. If you own a car you must have coverage that protects you in an accident. Even as a passenger or pedestrian, you are still covered.
Your no fault insurance policy includes lost wages compensation. After an accident, your insurance company is required to pay 85 percent of your lost income for up to three years. You can use this benefit to cover unpaid time off for medical exams and doctors visits, to pay your bills during your FMLA medical leave, or to bridge the gap if your condition causes you to lose your job.
If you happened to be unemployed when the accident happened, you can still receive lost wages benefits as long as you were actively seeking employment. How much you will be paid will depend on the kinds of jobs you were qualified for prior to the accident.
Long Term Disability
The three year limit on lost wages under the Michigan No Fault Act simply isn’t enough in cases of serious or long-term disability. If your car crash leaves you with a “serious impairment of a bodily function,” your recuperation could easily exceed the three year limit.
That is why the Michigan No Fault Act allows seriously injured motorists to sue the at-fault driver to cover the short-fall. Your Third Party lawsuit can include claims for long-term disability and lost wages beyond the three year mark. It will cover living expenses even if you are never able to return to work, or if your later employment pays significantly lower wages than you were qualified for before the accident.
If a family member has been in a fatal car accident, the surviving beneficiaries (including spouse and children) are still entitled to compensation for the money the deceased would have earned. This amount is not specifically calculated as “lost wages.” Instead it is based on earning potential and actuarial tables to determine how much the deceased would have earned if he or she had been able to keep working for the rest of his or her natural life.
Calculating how much you are entitled to in lost wages can be difficult. You need a skilled auto accident attorney like the lawyers at Christensen Law to help you put a value on what you have lost. The Christensen Law team will help you get you the money you need to live while you are healing.