Missed Work Due to An Accident?

Filing a wage loss claim can provide compensation if you can't work after an accident.

How will your car accident-related injuries affect your ability to work? Abeyta Nelson can help you establish a wage loss claim.

Explaining Wage Loss Claims

After a motor vehicle collision, a common concern for many individuals is how their injuries will impact their ability to work and provide for their loved ones. Injuries from a motor vehicle collision may prevent you from performing your normal job duties or force you to miss work to attend doctors’ appointments and treatment. According to NerdWallet.com, approximately 45% of Americans are unable to afford a $1,000 emergency without turning to loans or credit card debt.  It is essential, then, that collision victims are compensated for any missed time from work. This is where wage loss claims come into play.

Eligibility for Wage Loss Claims

In Washington state, you are entitled to compensation for lost wages or lost earnings caused by time missed from work due to a motor vehicle collision. Wage loss claims against an at-fault driver may include lost wages due to an inability to work, missed work for doctors’ appointments and other treatment, including the use of vacation or sick days for those purposes. To prove a wage loss claim, you must establish that the accident caused you to miss time from work, and have a medical release from your doctor including the hours you missed due to the collision.

Calculating and Proving a Wage Loss Claim

Calculating a wage loss claim requires documenting the difference between your pre-accident earnings and any earnings during the time you had to miss work. Sometimes the difference may be established by simply comparing the paystubs of your pre-accident earnings and earnings during the time you missed work. Other times, you may need to compare tax returns and bank deposits to establish a loss of earnings. The purpose is to provide a just and fair compensation for the time you missed from work due to the negligence of the at-fault driver.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Wage Loss

In Washington, insurance companies are required by law to offer Personal Injury Protection, otherwise known as PIP. PIP provides coverage for lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of home services regardless of who is at fault for causing the collision. The minimum limits for PIP coverage are 85% of lost wages or $200 per week, whichever is less; $10,000 in medical expenses incurred within three years of the collision; $2,000 in funeral expenses; and $5,000 for loss of home services benefits, up to $200 per week. Loss of home services includes housekeeping, yard work, home maintenance, and home nursing.

The Benefits of Extended Personal Injury Protection

You may buy “Extended PIP” coverage from your insurance company of up to 85% of lost income or $700 per week, whichever is less, and $35,000 for medical expenses incurred within three years of the collision. These benefits not only cover the named insured, but also anyone who is using or occupying the vehicle that was injured. It is crucial you do not reject PIP coverage, as these benefits will no longer be available to you.

Legal Assistance for Your Wage Loss Claim

Establishing a wage loss claim can be a complex process with significant pushback from insurance companies. The lawyers at Abeyta Nelson Injury Law have more than 100 combined years of experience valuing and establishing wage loss claims. We know how to document and submit wage loss claims that will get you paid. Contact Abeyta Nelson Injury Law in Yakima, Ellensburg, or Sunnyside for a free, no-obligation review of your case today. You’ll never pay an attorney fee unless we win your case.

-blog written by attorney Devon R. Nikfard, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law


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