What to do when an accident causes you to miss work?
When you miss work because of an accident in which you suffered injuries, there are several steps you should take. First, it’s critical to prioritize your health and well-being by seeking medical care from the emergency room or your primary care physician. Second, you will want to notify your employer about what happened as soon as possible.
If your injuries are severe enough that you may miss significant time at work—or if permanent injuries could prevent you from returning to your job—it is crucial to begin considering your possible financial recovery. Keep records of your missed days, missed pay, medical records, and conversations with your employer. Our Kentucky personal injury lawyer may be able to use this as evidence to recover lost wages and related compensation for you.
How do you get the money you lost to cover your bills?
If you cannot work after a car accident, you likely have questions about how you are going to make ends meet and cover the incoming bills. Your basic reparation benefits (BRB) insurance policy will cover your medical bills regardless of fault—you should have at least $10,000 in coverage. You can also recover some lost wages. However, under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 304.39-130, this tops out at $200 per week.
Still, there are other options. If you believe you will miss a significant time away from work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover money damages to help you pay your bills in several ways:
- Filing a bodily injury claim based on the at-fault party’s liability insurance
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
- Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim if your accident was work-related
- Identifying and seeking damages from others who contributed to the crash, such as those who designed or maintained the road
You may be able to get those who will be billing you to better understand your situation by having a frank conversation with them, letting them know when your doctors believe you may be able to return to work. Many financial institutions may give you a month or two off from your payments if you have pressing circumstances.
During this time, you should also keep records of your missed days, missed pay, medical records, and conversations with your employer. Our personal injury lawyer can use this as evidence to seek lost wages and related compensation for you if you decide to take legal action.
Damages recoverable based on your missed work
There are several reasons you may be able to recover fault-based damages in a car accident case. Under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 304.39-060, this includes:
- If your injuries cause you to have more than $1,000 in medical expenses
- If your injuries include a broken bone
- If your injuries cause permanent disfigurement or injury
- If the victim passes away
This could allow you to seek compensation based on the work you missed related to your accident injuries. Mainly, you could qualify for financial recovery for:
- Time you missed because of the accident and your initial medical evaluation
- Hours missed while undergoing treatment
- Long-term injuries that take weeks or months to heal
- Lasting disabilities that prevent you from returning to work
In addition to hourly wages, you may be able to recover compensation for other types of income, including:
- Average tips
- Missed commissions
- The cost of health insurance and other benefits
- Missed retirement benefits
What if you cannot return to your job after an accident?
Whether you can return to work will depend on your job, as well as the type and severity of your injury. Some injuries may cause a lasting disability that prevents you from performing all your job-related tasks. Examples of such injuries include:
- A broken back or neck
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of use of a limb
- Chronic pain injuries
Several things could happen after this type of lasting injury. Some people can perform their jobs well using a wheelchair or prosthetic limb, while other fields make it almost impossible. Your employer may be able to work with you to find another position, or you may have to train for a different career. In some cases, lasting disabilities make it impossible to work at all.
Proving your fault-based car accident claim
You may be able to recover monetary damages to help you make ends meet and pay your accident-related expenses by filing a liability insurance claim. Our firm can help you prepare a claim with the insurance company and support the case with evidence to document your losses.
If you cannot recover a fair and just payout by negotiating with the insurer, suing the liable party may be necessary. Although you must name the at-fault driver in a legal complaint, their insurance company has a duty to defend them and will represent their interests under the insurance policy.
Generally, motor vehicle accident victims have two years from their injury date to sue the at-fault driver pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 304.39-230(6). You will need to prove the following to recover compensation for your injuries:
The accused party was negligent
There are four elements of negligence you must establish to hold another person accountable for your injuries:
- They had a duty to do certain things to keep you safe.
- They failed to do them.
- This failure caused the accident.
- You suffered harm as a result.
You will need to prove each of these before you can collect compensation from the insurer or a court award from the at-fault party at trial.
The value of your damages
You must have documentation of your damages to show what an appropriate payout would be. It’s beneficial to keep all paperwork related to your injuries and make notes about your time away from work after your accident. Doing so will give our team a solid starting point for identifying and calculating your damages.
They are liable for your losses
You will need a strong enough case against the at-fault party to show they caused your injuries and that you did not contribute to them in a significant way. Even if you played a partial role in causing the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation. However, it will reduce the size of your payout under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 411.182.
Hiring an accident attorney to help with your claim
Some people try to secure compensation on their own after an injury accident. However, if you are unable to work due to your injury, you may have trouble managing this process without help.
Further, Kentucky injury and insurance law is complex and not necessarily intuitive. Some attorneys who don’t handle injury and insurance claims every day even make costly mistakes when attempting to work such claims.
Our team of injury professionals has represented many clients in this scenario, so we know what it takes to navigate this process with success. When you hire our firm, we handle all aspects of your injury claim, use our resources and experiences to build a strong case, and fight for your financial recovery.
Contact our personal injury law firm about your legal options today
Morrin Law Office provides legal representation for accident victims in Richmond, Kentucky. If you suffered injuries and missed work as a result, we may be able to help you recover compensation from the at-fault party.
Call (859) 358-0300 now to learn more about our services and your legal options in a free consultation.