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Can I Get Compensation for Lost Wages in a Virginia Car Accident Claim?

One of the most significant damages that many car accident victims suffer is loss of income because they are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Struggling without a paycheck for a week or two can be difficult enough, but when a victim’s injuries require long-term treatment and recovery and an extended absence from work, how will they cover their living expenses and other bills. A Virginia car accident lawyer can help accident victims obtain financial compensation to cover lost wages as part of a car accident claim or lawsuit.

Serious Injuries

While any car accident injury has the potential to be serious and result in a long recovery and rehab for the victim, the following are the most common:

  • Brain injuries: Any type of brain trauma, including concussions, can have an impact on a victim’s ability to focus, think clearly, and remember important information. Some brain injuries can even interfere with the victim’s ability to communicate, speak, and emotional well-being.
  • Eye injuries: Injuries to the eye can leave the victim with impairment to their vision or even blindness.
  • Fractured or lost limbs: Severe fractures can take a significant amount of time to heal and may even include multiple surgeries and long-term physical therapy. A limb that is amputated in a car accident can make it much more difficult for the victim to perform many physical tasks, including those that involve their job.
  • Spinal cord injuries: When the spinal cord sustains an injury, the victim may be left with partial or full paralysis, either from the waist or neck down, depending on where on the spine the injury occurs.

Any one of the above injuries will likely mean that the victim will be unable to work during their recovery period. While their job may be protected under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), they will not necessarily receive any wages during their time away. FMLA allows a person to take up to 12 weeks off from their job to recover, however, there is nothing under the law that requires an employer to pay an employee during that time. Although there are some companies that do provide paid leave, they are few and far between and the majority of car accident victims will be forced to use any paid vacation and sick time, and then spend the rest of their recovery time not receiving any income.

But Virginia law does allow victims to recover damages for lost wages if the accident was caused by another driver. Steps a victim should take in order to ensure full compensation for their losses include:

  • Retaining the services of a Virginia personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney will begin collecting evidence and building the case against the liable driver.
  • Keep all records and documentation regarding any medical treatment and medical bills for the injuries.
  • Keep a record of all the time missed from work. The victim should also ask their physician how much missed time from work is anticipated and/or if they will eventually be able to return to work at their prior full capacity.

Call a Virginia Accident Attorney for Help

The loss of income accident victims suffer can cause overwhelming stress on their finances. If you are an accident victim, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to speak with a Virginia personal injury attorney. Our legal team will evaluate your case and determine what types of damages you may be entitled to. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out what legal recourse you may have.

 

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Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia