Getting into a car accident can be a life-changing experience full of many medical and financial setbacks. Busy highways like Route-24, Route-140, Interstate-95 and Interstate-195 connecting New Bedford, Providence and Fall River are filled with multi-tasking distracted drivers. One moment you’re going about your day, running errands or heading in to work in a busy area like Route 44 between Middleborough and Rehoboth or the Route-6/10 connector on your way to Johnston, next thing you know you’re caught off guard when another vehicle crashes into you…
Whether you have suffered whiplash, a dashboard knee injury, or a more serious injury like a severe concussion with traumatic brain injury, you’ll likely not be able to work for some period of time. On top of your compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, the at-fault driver is responsible for these lost wages and other lost compensation from your inability to work.
Lost Wages and Lost Compensation
In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, if you are injured in a car accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver you are entitled to reimbursement for all of the income you lost while treating and recovering from your injuries. The term lost wages refers to the income that you would have earned from your employer between the occurrence of the car accident in which you sustained your injuries and the date of settlement. You are entitled to the wages you would have earned had you not missed work while receiving medical treatment and recovering from your injuries. Beyond your lost income for hours of work missed, you may also need to recover other lost compensation such as:
- Missed overtime opportunities
- Vacation and sick days taken to avoid unpaid time off work
- Any bonuses missed during time out of work
- Non-monetary perks and rewards missed during time out of work
Proving Lost Income
The best proof that your injuries and recovery required that you take time away from work will likely come from a doctor’s narrative. This is a detailed journal of your injuries, diagnosis and a prognosis for your recovery. It will state your prescribed treatments, medicines and therapy, as well as give an approximation of how long it will take before you can return to your full work capacity. It generally states you can return to work with restrictions on the duties you are able to perform. For example, the amount of time you can spend standing, or the amount of weight you’re able to lift. The more detailed that the doctor’s narrative is, the better chance you’ll have of recovering your lost wages.
You will also need to provide proof of the income and compensation you lost during your treatment and recovery in the form of a written letter from your employer. Make sure this letter is on company letterhead and signed by a manager. The contents of this document should confirm:
- How many days you were absent
- Your hourly rate or salary
- Your normal weekly hours worked
- Any lost overtime or additional compensation opportunities
- Any lost promotion opportunities
- Vacation, sick and bonus days used while recovering
- Any perks, rewards or other benefits you lost
D+Z: Experienced Car Accident Attorneys In Massachusetts & Rhode Island
If you have been out of work and suffered lost income due to injuries in a car accident, please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney. Dussault & Zatir P.C. has lawyers on call at +1-800-542-4LAW to answer your personal injury questions. With offices in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton, Massachusetts, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, if you’ve been injured, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.