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Can I receive compensation for lost wages after an accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Car Accidents

For anyone involved in a severe accident in New Mexico, their first thoughts usually involve getting the correct medical treatment. Yet, as healing begins to occur and reality sets in, some victims realize they won’t be able to work for months or even years. Getting enough money to live on becomes a major concern.

Severe accident costs can be substantial

Victims of severe motor vehicle accidents often incur multiple injuries. Even after leaving the hospital, many victims must spend substantial time at home recuperating, sometimes going through extensive physical therapy to regain normal function. For some, this function never returns. Instead, the individual is permanently disabled.

When accident victims can’t work, they can file a claim against those who caused the accident for lost wages. This term refers to money the victim would have earned if the accident did not occur. To get compensation for lost income, you must prove that injuries from the accident forced you to remain out of work and were unrelated to any other incident. If the claim is approved, you’ll get wages during medical treatment and recovery.

Lost wages involve two different concepts: lost earning capacity and lost compensation. The first refers to a diminished capacity to work because of a temporary or permanent disability. The second relates to wages, benefits and other perks earned through your job.

Filing a claim for lost wages

Accident victims have several options when filing a claim for lost wages. You can seek compensation from your own insurance company per the terms of your policy. Another option involves filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, for catastrophic accidents, insurance company compensation isn’t enough. In these cases, victims have the option to file a personal injury claim in court.

For a court filing, a lost wages claim is usually only one part of the lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Victims may also file for additional compensation, explicitly stating the need for medical treatments, therapy and living expenses. When pursuing compensation in court, victims must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent.


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