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Lost Wages After an Accident

Most families have tightened their belts in the years since the 2008 recession. A lot of people took wage cuts, or lost their jobs and took ones that paid less, while at the same time the cost of necessities like housing, gas, food, utilities, and health care have risen. Many families live paycheck-to-paycheck these days, and struggle just to make ends meet. Then along comes an unforeseen event like a car accident, and suddenly that paycheck you depend upon to be there vanishes when you’re too hurt to work. At the same time, medical bills are arriving in the mail, and you’re probably worried about how you’re going to manage.

When you’re injured in Illinois through someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior, you have a right to compensation not only of your medical costs or damage to your car, but also to your lost wages. That may include not only your present-day lost income, but future lost income related to your accident.

Compensation for lost wages can come in many forms. Some scenarios for which you may be able to receive compensation include:

  • Wages lost during hospital stays — If you were seriously injured, you may have had to spend days or weeks in a hospital following surgeries or other treatments. You may have a claim for lost wages from that time spent in the hospital because of your injuries if you otherwise would have been working and earning your pay.
  • Wages lost during convalescence — If you had to spend time at home healing from your injuries and were unable to work, say you had a broken leg in a cast and had to stay home until you were able to walk on crutches, you may be able to receive compensation for the time you otherwise would have spent working.
  • Wages lost for doctor’s office visits or physical therapy sessions — If you have to take time away from work for visits with your physician or for therapy sessions, you may be able to receive compensation.
  • Wages lost due to lost job — If you lost your job altogether because of your injuries because of a lengthy hospital stay or recovery time, or because your injuries caused some disability that prevents you from performing your job, you may be able to receive compensation for your lost job. If you had to take a lower-paying job, you could receive the difference between what you would have earned over your working lifetime and what you’ll earn at the lower wage job.

Proving your lost wages claim can be complicated, and it’s best to seek representation by an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can go through all of the facts of your case and determine the potential value of your lost wages, then help negotiate a settlement with insurance companies or file a lawsuit if needed.