What if I Missed Work After a Car Crash Injury? Can I Seek Compensation For Lost Wages?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on December 14, 2023 and updated on January 4, 2024.

wage loss graphicMany car crash victims miss at least a few days of work while they are recovering from their injuries. Victims with more severe injuries may miss much more than that.

You may also have to take time away from your job to go to the doctor, such as for follow-up appointments for physical therapy to help regain strength or mobility.

Missing work and losing wages is financially devastating for many crash victims. This is especially true when you need to pay for medical care. That is why the law allows crash victims to seek compensation for lost wages.

The experienced Maryland auto accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl discuss lost wages claims in Maryland. We represent crash victims at no upfront cost.

Call today for legal assistance: 410-297-0271.

What Kinds of Car Crash Injuries Can Cause You To Miss Work?

Many different types of car accident injuries could prevent you from working, including:

  • Head injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries

Crash victims should always follow their doctor’s orders about working or not working. If you push returning to work too soon, you risk further injury and a prolonged recovery. Toughing it out could also cause long-term problems and prevent you from making the best recovery possible.

Our attorneys understand missing work is a significant financial burden for many victims and their families. This is why we work tirelessly to secure full compensation for crash victims at no upfront cost.

Can I Recover Compensation For Lost Wages in a Maryland Injury Claim?

You can seek compensation for foreseeable damages that naturally resulted from the negligence of the at-fault party. This recovery could include wages you lost after suffering injuries. In other words, you would not have lost these wages but for the negligence of the at-fault party.

Crash victims can seek compensation for wages they lost during the time when they were physically unable to work or when their doctor prohibited them from going to work. You may also be able to seek compensation for times when you missed work because you had to go to a doctor’s appointment.

What You Need to Know About the Collateral Source Rule

If you purchased personal injury protection insurance, you could use it to pay for lost wages after a car accident injury. Under Maryland’s collateral source rule, juries cannot consider first-party compensation when deciding how much to award a crash victim for lost wages. Juries also cannot consider your use of vacation or sick time when you missed work because of your car crash injury.

What this means is you can use your own insurance and paid time off and still seek compensation for wages you lost after your car crash injury.

Can Self-Employed Injury Victims Seek Lost Wages?

The short answer is yes, but it can be difficult for self-employed victims to recover these damages. This is because it is difficult to prove the value of your lost income. Your lawyer will need to review your tax returns and evaluate your yearly gross earnings to determine how much you lost when you were unable to work, or when you were attending appointments with doctors.

Not being able to operate your business because of an injury can result in lost business opportunities. The value of these damages is much harder to quantify. This is one reason why victims should strongly consider hiring an experienced lawyer to assist them.

How do I Establish the Value of My Lost Wages?

To prove your lost wages claim, you will need to provide certain documentation and other supporting evidence. This documentation may include your tax returns, pay stubs and documentation of the time you missed. You may also need to provide medical records, which can help to establish when your doctor prohibited you from working and when you had to attend medical appointments.

It is vital that victims track the time they missed from work. Your employer should maintain detailed records of absences and time missed, as required by wage and hour laws. However, mistakes can happen, so you should also be diligent to maintain your own records. Keep your lawyer informed about the time you missed as well so he or she can seek full compensation for all your lost wages.

How Much Time Do I Have To Seek Compensation For Lost Wages?

You have three years from the date of the car accident to seek compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses and other damages suffered in the crash. Once three years pass, you are barred from recovering compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered.

You probably think that three years gives you plenty of time, but it is important to remember how quickly time flies. Those three years will go by faster than you think, which is why you should contact a lawyer as soon as you are able. It takes time to build a case, and you want to give your lawyer as much time as possible to help him or her build a strong case.

Contact Us For Legal Help Following a Car Crash in Maryland

Are you unsure what your claim may be worth?

This is what car insurance companies like to hear, because victims who are unsure of the value of their claim may be more likely to accept a low settlement.

You should consider talking to an experienced lawyer after being injured due to another’s negligence. The attorneys at our firm have secured millions for crash victims because we are deeply committed to securing full compensation.

Give us a call for legal help following a Maryland car crash: 410-297-0271.