It can be scary, overwhelming, and devastating to be in a car accident. If you sustained injuries, you might have to take time off work to seek medical care to help you recover. Treating your injuries is paramount but can disrupt your work and financial stability. Many injured victims may be temporarily or permanently unable to work, depending on the severity of the injury. This leaves them wondering how to claim lost wages from a car accident. Victims may also wonder, Who pays for lost wages in a car accident?

You may be eligible for lost wages through no-fault insurance coverage if you missed work because of your injuries. To claim lost wages from a car accident, following the proper steps and filing the appropriate paperwork is crucial. Working with a seasoned personal injury attorney can help you navigate the process to recover lost wages due to a car accident.

Does Car Insurance Cover Lost Wages?

Under New York’s no-fault insurance law, drivers must carry $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. No-fault insurance compensates an injured person regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The coverage reimburses some of the injured party’s economic or financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other reasonable or necessary costs incurred from the accident.

No-fault auto insurance typically covers:

  • 80% of lost earnings from work (up to $2,000 per month for up to 3 years from the date of the accident);
  • Up to $25 per day, for up to 1 year from the date of the accident, to cover other reasonable expenses (e.g., transport to/from medical appointments, help in the home); and
  • $2,000 death benefit (in addition to the $50,000 basic limit).

No-fault benefits do not cover vehicle or property damage or compensate for pain and suffering. Most no-fault benefits have a $50,000 limit unless the insured purchased additional benefits. Reviewing your policy documentation or speaking with a personal injury attorney is always helpful in understanding the benefits available.

If you need help claiming lost wages after a vehicle accident, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation Free Consultation

Submitting a Claim for Lost Wages

To seek lost wages under no-fault coverage, you must submit a claim within 30 days of the accident. Failure to file within 30 days could lead to a loss or reduction of benefits. If you file late, you must also submit a letter of justification for the late filing.

If your accident occurred in New York, and you were a passenger or driver, file your claim with the insurer of the vehicle you were in. If you were a pedestrian involved in the accident, file with the insurer of the vehicle that hit you. If you were a passenger on a public bus, you can only file a no fault claim with the bus company if you don’t own a car or reside with a relative who owns a car.

When filing your claim, you must include supporting documentation of your proof of earnings and inability to work due to your injuries. This documentation may include:

  • Medical documentation—obtain all medical records and a doctor’s note indicating you cannot work due to the injuries you sustained from the accident, the treatment required, and the anticipated time for recovery;
  • Employment and salary verification—  You must identify your employer on the application for no fault benefits. Your employer must directly provide the no fault insurer with verification of your salary, working hours, and the amount of work you have missed; the insurer will not accept this information if it comes from you and not your employer. There are special rules for self-employed applicants. Our team will guide you through this maze of rules and work to see that your no fault benefits are paid in a timely manner.
  • Personal documentation—notations made in a personal calendar or diary about days or opportunities missed to accrue overtime or additional income.

Your claim should also include information about the parties involved and the circumstances of the accident.

What if I was on the job when I was injured in a car accident in New York?

  • Different rules apply. You have to seek worker’s compensation benefits from your employer even if you were in your own car at the time of the accident. Worker’s Compensation benefits are paid in lieu of no fault benefits in such situations.

The insurer may deny your claim if you miss a section or do not include sufficient details in the benefits application. Work with an attorney familiar with completing these forms and obtaining no-fault benefits to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.

Additional Compensation

PIP coverage may not cover all the costs associated with your injuries, especially if the injuries are serious. If your injuries meet the threshold of being “serious,” you may seek additional compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault party with their insurance company. Serious injuries may include bone fractures, significant disfigurement, permanent limitation of a body member or organ, or total disability. You may be able to recover lost wages, medical expenses, home modifications, and pain and suffering costs. A savvy personal injury attorney can help make sure you receive fair compensation for the total amount of your losses.

Greenspan & Greenspan Can Help You Recover Lost Wages

If you are trying to figure out how to get lost wages for a car accident, Greenspan & Greenspan can help. Operating since 1959, our firm has decades of experience providing legal advice and advocacy to clients involved in motor vehicle accidents. We listen to each client’s needs and circumstances and fight zealously to recover fair compensation for their injuries and lost wages. You deserve the time to heal without fearing how you will cover your costs. Contact Greenspan & Greenspan today to learn how we can help you navigate the process of recovering lost wages.