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Understanding Lost Wages after a Car Accident in Durham, North Carolina.


Understanding Lost Wages after a Car Accident in Durham, North Carolina.

In the event that you have been involved in an accident in Durham, North Carolina, it is important to ensure that you seek compensation for all of your injuries and damages, including but not limited to your lost wages. You may be surprised to discover that many car accident victims come to our office and do not understand, or fail to appreciate, the fact that they are entitled to reasonable lost wages for the time they lost as a direct result of the car accident.

The general rule of thumb is that car accident lost wages claims are calculated by examining the hours you missed due to the accident. It is important to understand that your lost wage claim after a car accident is very dependent on your lack of ability to work as a direct result of the injuries and medical treatment you received following the car accident. For example, should you have been injured and your treating physician orders bed rest for three weeks from your job at Duke Hospital because of a fractured vertebra, you may reasonably assert a claim for the lost income as a result of the accident for the full three weeks you were out of work.

While this may seem simple, it is common for car accident victims to attempt to claim lost wages from time they missed from work that is not a direct consequence of the accident. Indirect consequences are not typically compensable; for example, should you have been injured and your physician recommends light duty for two weeks, but you decide to stay out of work for two weeks without seeing another doctor. While you may feel that this additional time is needed, it is not likely going to be compensated given the facts that you were, in this example, only given light duty for two weeks not bed rest for two weeks.

It is critical to remember that when you present a claim for lost wages following your Durham motor vehicle accident, that you provide evidence to support your claims and contentions. One cannot simply demand reimbursement for lost wages without providing evidence of the following:

  1. Compensation details – are you paid hourly or salary?
  2. Time missed from work – how much time did you miss from work?
  3. Calculation of lost wages – determination of compensation calculated against time out of work.
  4. Wage documentation – any and all financial information and documentation that can support the various facts and information contained in your demand for reimbursement.
  5. Medical documentation – any and all medical information necessary to determine the medical validity or medical need to be absent from work.
  6. Letters – it may be necessary to provide a letter from your employer or supervisor documenting their position and verifying your compensation along with W-2 or tax returns.

More information about lost wage claims for salary and hourly employees in Durham, North Carolina may be found here: Claiming Lost Wages as An Employee.

While North Carolina law is clear that the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating the victim of a car accident for those damages caused by their negligence, it is important to remember that in order to prove your damages for lost wages that you will be required to support (1) that your injuries were sustained in an accident and those injuries prevented you from working, and (2) that you sustained a loss in income that is the direct and proximate result of the negligence of the at-fault driver.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your Durham Car Accident lost wage claim, please do not hesitate to contact Wallace Pierce Law. Wallace Pierce Law focuses on assisting accident victims with personal injury claims in Durham, North Carolina, including claims for lost wages.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, call us today at (919) 887-7892 or fill out our form online!