It’s not something that people expect to happen after a wreck, but it’s not impossible. An injury, specifically one that results in brain trauma or disfigurement, can cost someone their job. Employers don’t have an obligation to keep on staff members that can’t perform the necessary job functions or day-to-day duties. The only relief for someone who has lost their job because of an accident is knowing that they can continue to move forward with their insurance claim and hopefully get some compensation.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash, an Atlanta car collision attorney can help you recover financial compensation. Financial compensation can include some or all elements of lost wages and lost earning capacity. It depends on your ability to return to work, and fully recover, but here are other elements to consider as well.
Isn’t It Illegal to Fire Me for an Injury?
No Employer Protection on Out of Work injuries exists. Meaning that yes, if you got fired because of a workplace injury, that’s a problem. But if you were hurt out of work and it impacts your ability to work, then that’s not your employer’s problem.
So employer protection exists so that employers can’t go around firing everyone that makes a workers’ compensation claim. The retaliation rate on those claims is already exceptionally high. But if you slip and fall somewhere or get into an accident, or fall off a ladder hanging lights, it’s fair game. The employer doesn’t owe you anything because there’s no way that the injury was from their negligence.
It’s tough for many people because they feel as though they had this huge safety net with their job security. Then they realize that if they can’t do the basic functions or return to work quickly, then they’re hurt, possibly disabled, and out of a job.
What Do I Do About My Loss of Income?
Your loss of income is a big issue because primarily you’re looking at years of damages, not just a few weeks. When you have an injury that causes you to lose your job, it’s likely that you’ll be out of work for some time. You should anticipate adding your lost income onto your demand statement, and what we mean by that is that you should have a financial expert calculate your lost income.
The lost income isn’t as simple as your most recent paycheck multiplied by the amount of time you could be out of work. Financial experts will look at the average time it takes for someone in your field to find new employment after vocational or occupational rehabilitation. You may need to relearn skills that you lost from the crash in order to return to your occupation.
Can I Get Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity?
Earning capacity is a person’s ability to earn an income through their skillset, training, and past experience. For example, the average electrician in Georgia makes about $44,000 per year. If the injuries an electrician sustains makes it impossible for them to return to their class, then you are missing out on that income.
Lost earning capacity differs from lost income because you’re looking at future wages and future earnings.
Is This Pain and Suffering or Special Damages?
Pain and suffering mostly involve elements of the crash that are hard to put a value to. But special relief takes a different approach. Special damages, however, can include business opportunities, profits, and benefits. If you lost your healthcare coverage after you lost your job because of an accident, that would fall into special damages. Similarly, if you received profit sharing as a job perk, you would count that into special damages.
The issue with special damages is that the other side will argue that you don’t deserve those benefits any longer because you’re not employed with that company. This argument comes up frequently for benefits. However, it’s your side to argue that you would have healthcare or extra benefits if someone would have driven safely.
Will I Need an Attorney if I Lost My Job Because of an Accident?
In all likelihood, you will need legal help to seek compensation for these types of damages. In most insurance claim resolutions, if you tell them you lost your job, they’ll say, “oh too bad” and move on. You can’t take that answer. The injuries from this wreck may be so severe that it makes it impossible to fully recover, maybe impossible to get another job.
When your household and family, lose a portion of their income, you can fight. Get help from a Lawrenceville, GA car crash law firm and go to battle for the compensation you deserve. Lost earning potential, lost wages, and more are all possibilities. Talk to the attorneys at John B. Jackson about what you should fight for in your claim!