September 20, 2023
How to Claim Lost Wages from a Car Accident in New York
By Jonathan Damashek
Being injured in a car accident often means losses other than medical expenses. You may be unable to work for an extended period, making it even more challenging to pay the bills. The last thing you need to worry about is losing much-needed income. You have options to help you get the money you need to cover those lost wages.
What Are Lost Wages after a Car Accident?
Lost wages would be the income you would have earned if you weren’t injured in a car accident. Whether you are off work for a few weeks or months, you can get compensation for all the money you would have received from your employer.
Further, if you were forced to use benefits like paid time off (PTO), sick leave, or vacation time, you can get compensation to reimburse you for those benefits.
Reduced Earning Capacity
While not technically lost wages, another aspect you can get covered is the loss of future earning capacity. If you are disabled in a car accident or cannot work at your previous job, you can get money to compensate you for anything you’ve lost.
What Can Disqualify You from Lost Wage Benefits?
You could be disqualified from using your insurance benefits if your accident involved a variety of factors, including driving while intoxicated or impaired, if you intended to hurt yourself, if the car you crashed was stolen, or if you were committing a felony or avoiding law enforcement.
An attorney knowledgeable of New York’s no-fault laws can explain the intricacies of the laws and how they affect your case.
Who Pays Lost Wages?
The insurance company should cover your lost wages. Since New York is a no-fault state, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can protect your economic losses.
If your losses exceed what your no-fault insurance will pay, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If they have liability insurance, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may also cover some of your damages.
No-Fault Insurance Requirements and Benefits
New York requires that all registered drivers have a minimum of $50,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that will cover medical expenses and limited economic losses after a crash. This applies no matter who is at fault. You can and should purchase a higher policy amount if you are able.
In New York, PIP will pay up to $2,000 per month or 80% of your monthly earnings, whichever is less, for up to three years after a car accident. This is limited by the policy’s overall limit as well.
Calculating Lost Wages after a Car Accident
Calculating lost wages after a car accident requires specific evidence about your job and how much work you have missed. You will need check stubs, W2s, 1099s, tax returns, and other evidence about how much money you make. You can also get a statement from your employer detailing your wages, benefits used, and missed work.
A car accident lawyer can help you calculate precisely how much you should receive for lost wages to ensure you get what you need.
Filing a No-Fault Claim for Lost Wages
Although you may initially file a PIP insurance claim with your own insurance company, it can take weeks or more to get the money you need. You will likely be required to submit a claim within 24 to 48 hours after the accident. However, the insurance company has up to 30 days to respond. If they deny your claim, receiving benefits can take even longer.
If your lost wages claim exceeds your policy limits, you can sue the at-fault driver to recover all your damages. A third-party insurance claim or car accident lawsuit can take months or years. It’s essential to work with a lawyer who can expedite the process as much as possible.
Call HKD for Your Lost Wages Claim after a Car Accident
Lost wages and reduced earning capacity often comprise a large portion of a car accident claim. While you likely have some insurance coverage for these damages, it may not cover everything. You need to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you get the maximum compensation possible.
The attorneys at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. are here for you. We will compassionately listen to your story, gather evidence, and fight for your rights moving forward. Call us today at (212) 490-5700. or contact us online to schedule a consultation.