Recovering from a car accident takes time. Often, your doctors will urge you to devote several days or even several weeks to rest and heal. This is obviously problematic for those who have full-time jobs. Most employees are very limited in the PTO they can take, and some don’t get any PTO at all.
The bottom line is that nobody wants to lose income or sacrifice all their precious vacation days just because they were in a car accident. The good news is, if you were in an accident and it wasn’t your fault, you may be able to file an insurance claim to recover lost wages.
Recovering Lost Wages After a Car Accident
If you were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have the right to claim damages. Damages fall under two basic categories: Economic and non-economic.
Economic damages help you recover from any financial losses resulting from your accident. This might include medical bills, the costs of repairing/replacing a vehicle, and lost wages. Damages are intended to put you back into the same economic position you were in before the accident, meaning you ultimately shouldn’t have to bear any of the costs of your injuries.
Can I File for Damages Even if I’m Paid to Miss Work?
Now, it’s possible that your employer offers generous sick leave and plentiful vacation days, meaning you might technically be paid to rest and recover following your car accident.
Using your PTO to recover from a car accident may keep you on sound financial footing, at least at first. Ultimately, though, it may catch up with you: If you fall ill, or if you need to spend time caring for a sick family member, you may find that you have no remaining PTO to your name. As such, it’s still worth seeking compensation for the PTO days you have to take as a result of your car accident.
Valuing PTO Days
This raises a question: How are sick days and vacation days valued? Essentially, PTO days should be valued at the rate of a single day’s wages. So, if you make $300 at the office each day and need to take three PTO days to recover from your car accident, it makes sense that you would be reimbursed $900.
What Steps Should I Take to Recover Lost Wages
To recover compensation for lost wages (or lost PTO days), there are just a few steps you’ll need to take:
- Consult with your doctor about the amount of time you need to rest and recover, requesting medical documents to support this recommendation.
- Gather documents to prove that you missed out on work and on wages. A number of documents can help: A letter from your employer, detailing your time off, or else your pay stub, W2, etc.
- Talk with an experienced car accident lawyer, especially if you run into any resistance from your insurance company.
At McLaurin Law, we have years of experience helping Houstonians recover from car accidents. We’re here to assist you in navigating the insurance claims process, and to seek the highest level of compensation on your behalf. To find out more about your rights as a policyholder, reach out to McLaurin Law today.