How Long Should I Take Off Work After a Car Accident?
You should base your decision regarding how much time to take off work after a car accident on the extent of your injuries and on your anticipated recovery time. The healthcare professional who assesses and treats your injuries will provide you with a detailed treatment plan and potential recovery timeline. In addition, you should not feel pressured to return to work because you believe that you cannot afford to take time off.
A car accident lawyer will help you calculate the wages you would have earned had the accident not occurred. They also make sure to include every source of income you lost in your compensation request. Finally, they’ll help you build your case, including your lost wages and all other recoverable damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage or loss, and more.
What I I Feel OK, But My Doctor Will Not Release Me?
The medical professionals who treat your injuries after a car accident are the best judge of your medical condition. Because a car accident can result in hidden injuries and ones that might not be readily apparent to you, you should follow the advice of your healthcare team. Returning to work too soon can:
- Impede the progress of your recovery
- Aggravate existing car accident injuries
- Negatively affect your compensation request
In addition, a car accident can prompt an adrenaline rush and post-accident trauma and anxiety. Recovering from the accident can also involve mental and emotional recovery, for which an attorney can help you seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
As you heal from your car accident injuries, your doctor will watch for when you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), which marks the point when they reasonably expect you will not make a further recovery.
A car accident attorney will often wait until you reach MMI before pursuing compensation. Since you don’t get a second chance at pursuing the at-fault driver, your lawyer will want a complete understanding of your medical prognosis so they can accurately place a value on your future needs.
How Do I Document My Loss of Income?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents have an annual price tag of $75 million in healthcare costs and loss of productivity when injury victims cannot return to work. These could affect you, your family, and your employer.
When a car accident lawyer handles your case, they take care of tracking your lost income. They’ll show how your injuries and recovery caused you to miss work and calculate your lost wages, salary, benefits, retirement contributions, and more.
On your behalf, your lawyer will obtain paycheck stubs, medical records, and confirmation of your job. In addition, your company’s human resources department can provide written clarification of your duties and hourly wage rate. Finally, if you are self-employed, work in the gig economy, or have more than one job, your attorney will explain the income-related documents you need and acquire them for you.
What Other Damages Can I Recover?
Income loss is only one of many forms of financial losses you can recover. These are called economic damages and typically have a direct monetary impact or cost something out of your pocket. Along with lost wages, your recoverable economic damages include:
- Short- and long-term medical bills
- Damage or destruction of your car
- Funeral expenses, where applicable
You can also request several types of noneconomic damages. These are harder to assign a value. A lawyer would use a formula based on the toll the accident takes on you physically and psychologically to calculate these losses:
- Ongoing pain and suffering
- Disabilities and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
The unexpected loss of a loved one in a car accident can devastate a family. While your family recovers, your car accident lawyer can request compensation for your losses. These damages could include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of their income
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and familial contributions
Explore Your Compensation Options After a Car Accident
Were you or someone you love forced to miss time from work because of injuries sustained in a car accident? Regardless of how long you took off work after the car accident, Distasio Law Firm will help you fight to recover your lost wages.
Our client testimonials page is packed with recommendations that attest to our commitment to our clients. Find out more by calling Distasio Law Firm today at (813) 259-0022. Your first consultation with a team member is free.