Claiming Lost Wages as an Employee
If you have lost time from work due to accident-related injuries, you may
be able to seek reimbursement for reasonable lost wages. Generally, lost
wages are measured by the amount of wages you would have received if you
had not missed work due to the accident. This means that lost wages are
dependent on your inability to work as a result of the accident and not
necessarily on the time you missed from work as an indirect consequence
of the accident.
When asserting a claim for lost wages, it is essential to support all allegations,
contentions, and demands for reimbursement for lost wages with appropriate
documentation and evidence. Furthermore, the documentation and evidence
will need to be complete and consistent with the treatment that has been
rendered by your medical providers showing that you are unable to work.
This article will assist you in making your claim for lost wages when you
are an employee of a company or a person; in other words, when you are
not self-employed or the owner of the company. To learn more information
on how to claim lost wages when self-employed, or as an entrepreneur or
business owner, please read our article on the subject.
What Do I Need to Prove in Order to Claim Lost Wages?
An at-fault driver is responsible, under the law, for compensating you
for those damages proximately caused by their negligence, which includes
certain lost wages. Lost wages include all the time away from work for
both medical treatment and time missed due to physical incapacity to perform
your normal work tasks. In order to establish lost wages, you will have
the burden of proving all the necessary elements of the damages stemming
from your injury. This claim will have to be presented to the at-fault
party’s insurance claims adjuster. Failure to adequately prove your
claim will prevent you from recovering lost wages.
Before you can seek any form of recovery, you must first be able to prove
that the at-fault party was negligent, and therefore responsible for your
damages. For more information on the concept of negligence, please read
Negligence. Proof of damages for lost wages will require documentation
and evidence of the following:
- You must be able to prove that the injuries sustained in the accident prevented
you from working.
- You must be able to prove the value of the lost time.
Proving That Your Injuries Prevented You from Working
Although you may feel like you cannot work after an accident, without the
proper documentation and supporting evidence from your employer, a claims
adjuster will almost always deny or drastically reduce your lost wages
claim. Therefore, you should seek written authorization for each day you
miss work from your medical providers to show that the absence was medically
necessary and the lost wages are related to the injuries caused by your
accident. The written documentation, or doctor’s note, should come
from the medical physician treating you for injuries sustained in the
accident, and it should describe your injuries, your need to miss work
and how much work the doctor believes should be missed.
Please be sure that your doctor’s notes accurately document your
inability to work or perform your usual duties. Additionally, the medical
provider who actually treated you should provide your doctor’s note
to you. For instance, an emergency room doctor, a primary care physician
or a chiropractor who treated you for your injuries can write you a note
for every day that you are to miss work. Be sure to review the details
and language of the doctor’s note. Here is a sample doctor’s
note that we feel would support a lost wages claim effectively.