When you were involved in a crash, you were shocked to find that the other driver’s insurance company wanted to settle with you very quickly. While you were still in the hospital, their insurance agent tried to reach out to you.
At that point, you had no idea what kinds of bills you’d have or how your life would be affected by the collision. Now, at this point, it’s clear that you will have lost wages and be unable to work full-time in the foreseeable future.
Can you ask the insurance company to cover your lost wages?
Yes. Simply put, you can ask the at-fault party to cover your past, current and future financial losses as long as they are related to your injuries.
Before you accept anything from the insurance company, you do need to make sure you calculate your lost wages and know exactly what you’ve lost so far and stand to lose in the future. Doing this will give you the bare minimum that you want to seek from the insurance company and at-fault driver.
To help support your claim, you will need documents that go over your current medical condition, what’s preventing you from working and how much time you are expected to need off work. You should also collect copies of your paystubs, so you can show your normal earnings prior to the collision.
If you have an employer, contact them to get documents confirming your employment information. If you don’t have an employer, you should provide copies of your invoices or other freelance/independent contracting documents.
Calculating your lost wages can be tricky depending on how you’re paid. Hourly is easiest, since you just multiple the pay you’d have received by the hours lost to get your missing pay. Salary is harder, but you can get the total by dividing your annual salary by 2080 and multiplying by the total hours missed.
For self-employed or independently contracted people, you may want to consider claiming lost income rather than lost wages, so you can show how much you would have made, on average, and be compensated fairly.
Once you know what you’ve lost or stand to lose, you can learn more about your legal options and right to negotiate.