The effects of a car accident can be much more than just your immediate injuries and the damage to your vehicle. It's not uncommon for car accident victims to miss time at work, thus taking a hit to their income. It can be especially bad if you are no longer able to continue in your previous job due to the extent of your injuries. Fortunately, you do have options if your job is impacted by an accident.
1. Communicate With Your Employer
First and foremost, you need to keep a line of open communication with your employer. If you simply stop going into work or quit your job outright because of your injury, you may not be due any damages simply because you made no attempt to minimize the loss. There are leave options available that will allow you to take time off until you recover sufficiently to return to work. Although this leave may be unpaid, you will still have your job. Some employers may also have alternative roles you can fill until you recover enough to return to your former position.
2. Know the Damages You Are Due
Once your employer is in the loop, you can discuss the damages you are due with your lawyer so they can help put together an accurate settlement proposal. Most income loss as a result of injuries from a car accident will fall under the special damages category. Special damages cover lost income, which can include the use of benefits like vacation time for the period impacted by the injury. You may also qualify for general damages, which are intended to cover ongoing losses if you will not be able to return to your former position and pay grade even after recovery.
3. Gather Necessary Proof of Loss
You must show proof of lost income, along with proof of ongoing loss if you're suing for general damages. This evidence is usually a combination of pay stubs to prove loss, letters from your employer about the physical requirements of your position, and medical documentation detailing why your injuries precluded you from working. Your lawyer will help you determine what proof of loss is needed in your specific situation.
4. Follow Through On Damage Mitigation
The amount of your settlement can be reduced if you do not do your part to mitigate the loss. The first part of damage mitigation was previously mentioned — stay in contact with your employer. You may also be required to look for a new position in the event that you are able to work, just not in your former job. Proof of a job search, such as a detailed list of applications and interviews, may need to be presented during your case.
Contact an auto accident attorney in your area for more help.