If you have been in a car accident caused by another driver, you are entitled to receive compensation for lost work income due to the incident or resulting injuries. You can claim loss of wages for the period you were unable to work and time lost receiving medical care for your injuries.
In order to make a successful a personal injury claim, it is essential to hire a lawyer after a car accident. We have put together a brief overview of what to expect when filing for lost work income after a car accident.
What Can You Claim?
Many people get confused as to what ‘lost work income’ encompasses. Claiming loss of earnings could occur because you needed to take six months off work due to the resulting injuries from a car accident. In this time you may lose clients or even your job, which can have major financial implications.
Who is Responsible for Paying?
When you lodge a motor vehicle accident compensation claim it is actually made against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the person responsible. This means that it doesn’t matter if the person at blame can’t afford to pay compensation.
If they do not have insurance or are unable to be identified, the claim is then brought against the Nominal Defendant (a statutory body established under the MAI Act which responsible for compensating injured victims of negligent drivers who cannot be identified or do not have CTP insurance.
Time Limits for Making a Claim
Claiming loss of earnings must be lodged within six months of the accident. The CTP insurer of the negligent driver will most likely cover compensation when the injured party has lost an amount over $5,000, or if their recovery time exceeds six months.
If you do not file your claim within this time frame, you may be granted an extension by the courts. However, this is only likely if you had special circumstances that hindered you from making your claim earlier.
Filing Your Claim
Before you file your personal injury claim, make sure you have all the supporting evidence that you need. If you are employed, your best source of evidence would be past payslips dating at least 6 months prior to your car accident.
In order to prove that you were incapable of working during your period of absence, you will also have to provide supporting medical documents. You must be able to show that you tried to mitigate your losses by returning to work as soon as you were able to when claiming loss of earnings.
For self-employed individuals, claiming lost work income after a car accident can be more tricky. Contact your accountant immediately and inform them that your business will be incurring a loss due to your injury. Have your accountant gather details of your accounts from the past three months prior to the accident.
You should also collect documents outlining your duties such as work diaries, invoices and contracts that you were unable to follow through on because of your accident. This should be a sufficient amount of information to calculate the net loss to your business.
The outcome of your claim will depend on whether you have a full-time or part-time job, regular or casual employment, hourly, weekly or monthly pay, or if you are self-employed.
Loss of Future Earnings
If you have sufficient evidence to show that your injury will have an ongoing effect on your future earnings then you can include this in your personal injury claim. Consult with your doctor for a comprehensive assessment of your injuries.
Be sure to outline your capabilities and limitations once you have reached your maximum point of recovery. Note the resulting impact this will have on the regular duties you performed prior to the accident and financial implications of different career options.
How Long Will Your Claim Take?
The court will usually reach a settlement once the individual has reached a stable point where they are not likely to improve or get worse. However, this is dependant on the severity of your injuries. For example, if you have only suffered relatively minor injuries, you likely to reach a stable point within a few months.
In this time, it may be tempting to settle your claim. Legal proceedings involving lost work income after a car accident can get lengthy and frustrating. However, it is advised that you do not make any decisions until you are fully aware of the value of your claim. Ensure that you consult with your lawyer in regards to settling.
For assistance on claiming lost work income after a car accident, get in touch with the compensation lawyers at Schreuders today.