If you are seriously injured in a car accident to the point where you require medical treatment, there is a good chance that you will need to take some time to recover from your injuries. Taking time off of work can lead to significant wage loss, which is fortunately recoverable in a personal injury case.
But if you can’t make it to work, there is a good chance that mowing the lawn or preparing meals for your family are difficult tasks as well. Thankfully, injury victims have the option of making a claim for a loss of essential services. There are different types of insurance coverage that protect claimants from wage loss and a loss of essential services, and it is important to understand the differences between these types of coverage.
Wage Loss Following a Car Accident
If you are injured in a car accident and your injuries require that you miss time from your job, the lost income that results from missing work can lead to financial problems for you and your family. Thankfully, wage loss is a recoverable damage in a personal injury claim.
Policyholders with a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy are protected for lost wages after an accident, regardless of who was at fault in causing the car accident. In Washington state, all auto insurance policies must include PIP unless the consumer chooses to opt out of the coverage by signing a waiver form.
Unfortunately, most insurance policies only cover wage loss beginning two weeks after the accident or injury occurred. In order to receive compensation for wage loss, you must provide the insurance company with documented evidence that proves your injuries were severe enough to cause you to miss work. In addition, you must provide documented records of the time you missed and the total wage loss that occurred as a result.
In addition to PIP coverage, the bodily injury liability coverage of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy can cover wage loss for the injured victim. In this case, the victim would file a wage loss claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Loss of Essential Services
If a person is injured in a car accident and has to miss work, chances are they are going to have trouble performing everyday tasks and chores around the house as well. In a personal injury claim, this is called a loss of essential services, and victims can be reimbursed for these services under the right circumstances.
It is important to understand that a loss of essential services claim is not warranted simply because a car accident victim feels pain or discomfort after the accident. Because of this, the claimant must provide documented evidence that the injuries they are suffering prevent them from performing the duties they would otherwise be able to perform.
In most cases, claimants can be reimbursed for a loss of essential services for up to $40 per day with a $5,000 total limit. This money can be used to hire someone to complete regular household chores such as mowing the lawn or gardening, preparing meals and housecleaning services.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies are likely to fight tooth-and-nail with claimants over these claims. If you find yourself in the position of going to battle with an insurance company over the compensation that you deserve after a car accident, it may benefit you to consult with a personal injury attorney.