A serious auto accident almost always puts you out of work for days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years. It’s comforting to know that you can recover much of your lost wages as part of your no-fault auto insurance claim and third party lawsuit.
Wage Loss Under Michigan No-Fault Law
After a car crash, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident involving a vehicle, your Michigan no-fault auto insurance provider is required to pay you a benefit for time you were not able to work because of your injuries. The law requires your insurance company to pay 85 percent of your lost wages for the first three years after your accident. Sometimes this is because your doctor orders you not to work and so you miss a length of time under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Other times, this can cover unpaid time off to go to doctors, therapists, and other rehabilitative treatment.
If you were unemployed when the accident happens, or you get fired because you are unable to work due to your disability, you can still receive a wage loss benefit. In these cases, what you get paid will depend on the kind of work you last did or are qualified for, and how much you earned, or could earn, if you were still working at that job.
Long-Term Wage Loss and Disability
If your automobile accident was serious enough, it could be more than three years before you are able to go back to work. In some of the most severe cases, you might be permanently disabled and never be able to do the same job you used to. Your no-fault wage loss benefit will run out after three years. But if another driver was at fault for your accident, you can still recover you wage loss as part of your Third Party lawsuit. There is no time limit on these claims. However, you and your auto accident attorneys will have to prove that you will still be disabled for years to come.
A Third Party lawsuit also allows for “non-economic” damages including disability. This is a monetary award that tries to make up for your loss of ability and independence.
Wage Loss and Wrongful Death
If your family has suffered a loss as a result of a crash, you may still be able to receive compensation for the loss of income that the deceased would have brought in. Your auto accident attorneys will help you prove what your loved one would have provided to your family had he or she not been hurt, and for how long. It won’t bring your family member back, but it can help pay the bills now that they are gone.
Recovering wage loss is essential after a car accident. Your ability to work may have ended, but your obligations to pay your rent, mortgage, and living expenses haven’t. That’s why you need an experienced auto accident attorney to help you get compensated for your lost wages quickly and completely.