A significant aspect of your damages after an accident is the income you lose because you cannot return to work. This lost income can be compensated through a lawsuit, and an attorney can help you establish the value of this grievous loss.
Recovering lost wages can be challenging, but it is not impossible. One method is to file an insurance claim. Illinois is a fault-based insurance state, and injured drivers must prove the other driver is at fault before any lost wages are paid back. We must also provide evidence of your lost income and establish how much of your earnings the accident cost you. Keep in mind that insurance policies are not unlimited, and your claims might exhaust or exceed the policy limits of the other driver’s insurance. If an insurance claim does not work out or is insufficient, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Injured drivers often have to take significant time away from work to recover. The income you miss out on because of the accident deserves compensation. Call our Chicago car accident lawyers for a free review of your case. Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.
Filing a Car Insurance Claim in Illinois to Get Lost Wages
Several legal channels might be available to help you recover lost wages after a car accident. Filing an insurance claim is often the first legal option injured drivers use. Since all drivers are required by law to carry insurance in Illinois, many file insurance claims. If the other driver is uninsured or flees the scene and cannot be identified, our Illinois personal injury attorneys can help you explore other options.
Illinois insurance laws operate under a fault-based system. Under this system, injured drivers must file third-party claims with the other driver’s insurance company. This is why it is crucial that you and the other driver exchange personal information after the accident. You will need the driver’s name and other details to file the claim.
Next, you must prove to the insurance company that the other driver caused the accident. Insurance companies do not pay any compensation unless you can show them that the other driver caused the crash. The insurance company might deny your claim if you cannot provide evidence of fault.
You must be very careful what you say to the insurance company. They often investigate the crash on their own, so we need evidence to support your claims. They are also looking for any excuse to deny your claim or reduce your compensation. You should seek help from an attorney before speaking to anyone from the insurance company.
Establishing Lost Wages
The insurance company will only compensate damages we can prove. We need evidence showing how much income you lost because of the accident and your injuries. Our Aurora car accident attorney can assist you in gathering the evidence you need to show the insurance company the extent of your lost wages.
First, we should establish your salary or pay scale. Often, we can present evidence, including pay stubs or paperwork from your job showing how much money you earn. We should also include extra earnings you might have missed out on, like overtime or commissions. For example, if you normally work overtime hours several times per month, we need some evidence. Timesheets that indicate your regular hours and overtime hours are a good place to start.
Second, we need to establish the time you were away from work. Many injured victims are out of work for at least a few days or more. Even if you only missed a few days, that time and lost earnings deserve compensation. People injured in especially severe crashes might be out of work for months or unable to ever return to work.
Finally, we need to show that the time you spent away from work was not by your own choice but because you were too injured to return to your job. The insurance company might try to accuse you of taking more time away from work than necessary. We need evidence showing this is not the case. Often, your doctor can explain that the time was necessary for your injuries to heal.
Limits of Insurance
An insurance policy only pays out so much money. Eventually, the policy limits are exhausted, and the insurance company will not pay anymore. The policy limit depends on the insurance policy carried by the defendant. We can explore other legal options if your damages exhaust the policy limits.
You might have other insurance policies we can help you file claims with. For example, underinsured motorist policies help injured drivers recover compensation that the other driver’s insurance does not pay for because the policy limit was exceeded. If insurance simply does not cut it, we can file a lawsuit against the other driver.
How a Lawsuit Can Help You Recover Lost Wages After an Illinois Car Accident
A lawsuit can help you recover the remainder of lost earnings the insurance company could not or would not pay out. If the insurance company denies your claim completely, a lawsuit should be filed as soon as possible. We can prepare your legal complaint to be filed as we are dealing with insurance. That way, your case is ready to go as soon as we know the insurance company’s decision.
A lawsuit might be a better option if your lost wages constitute a large amount of money. For example, an injured driver with a high-earning job could lose a significant amount of money if they cannot work for weeks or months.
A lawsuit can also help you recover damages not normally covered by insurance. For example, insurance companies do not often cover damages for pain, suffering, or other non-economic injuries. A lawsuit, however, can help you recover these damages.
Call Our Illinois Car Accident Lawyers for Assistance
If you are injured because of a car accident and cannot return to work, your situation might be especially difficult because of your lost income. Our Rockford car accident attorneys can help you file an insurance claim and start a lawsuit. For a free case review, call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.