Updated: Aug 31
If you have lost wages due to an injury, here are some tips for getting your wages reimbursed.
Say you suffer a personal injury like a car crash or a fall. There are a few potential sources of immediate compensation for lost wages, assuming your doctor has you off work for the required amount of time:
Short or long term disability insurance coverage, which is often a benefit from your employer;
Personal injury protection from your own car insurance if you’re in a car crash; and
Personal injury protection from the other person’s car insurance if you were hit as a pedestrian.
These insurances will reimburse a portion of your lost wages after you have been off work for a specific amount of time, which I’ll call the waiting period. Once that waiting period passes, wage reimbursement is payable to you right away.
However, if you are able to go back to work before the waiting period passes, or if these coverages are not available to you, then you could seek wage reimbursement as part of your overall damages from the at fault party’s insurance company. Keep in mind that this usually means you won’t see any wage compensation until after your case is done and settled.
One thing is common for all wage loss claims: you need to be able to prove what your wages are. Often your employer can provide this information. Other times you may have to rely on pay stubs or tax documents to show what your normal earnings are. Keeping good records is important, especially if you are self-employed or have more than one job. You can’t get reimbursed for your lost wages if you do not have documents showing what your normal wages are.
And finally, to prove wage loss you need doctor disability slips. These show that you were off work because of this injury, and not for some other reason.
As always, every case involving wage loss is unique, and what I just said may not apply to your particular situation. Therefore, before taking any legal action, you should call a lawyer who can advise you on the legal options for your particular situation.