Truck accident victims in California have the right to pursue full compensation from at-fault parties, including lost wages. Because these accidents tend to cause more significant injuries, the economic losses are, naturally, also greater. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult with experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyers about your claim.
These accidents involve specific legal and factual questions that do not arise in typical car accident cases. When choosing a personal injury lawyer, be sure that your attorney has experience representing truck accident victims so that your rights will be protected. At Salamati Law, our knowledgeable truck accident team aggressively advocates for our clients.
How lost wages are recovered
Since California is a fault-based state, individuals injured in auto accidents have the right to sue those responsible. This is different from no-fault insurance states. Victims must seek compensation from their personal injury protection policies– unless they can show that they meet a legal exception to sue.
Under the fault-based system, injury victims usually sue the other driver for their losses, including lost wages. The other driver’s liability insurance policy would then pay for their driver’s negligence. However, if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company for uninsured motorist benefits. All of this remains true in truck accidents, but there is an added complication of more potential parties involved.
A truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help you determine who may be liable for lost wages and other damages in your case. Potential defendants can include the truck driver, the trucking company employing them, a mechanic, or even the vehicle’s manufacturer. From there, your lawyer will take the lead through insurance claims and litigation, including, if necessary, trial.
What is included in a lost wage claim?
A claim for lost wages is comprehensive.
It includes pay that you missed out on due to your injury as well as other pay and benefits that you would have earned, and may include:
- Base pay of your hourly earnings or salary that you were unable to earn because of work missed due to injury or doctor’s appointments as well as overtime if you typically would have worked it.
- Paid time off including sick days used while recovering or for doctor’s appointments, as well as vacation time used because of the injury and any bonus days that you were unable to earn.
- Pay raises including regular adjustments for cost of living and merit-based increases that the injury prevented.
- Other benefits, including performance bonuses, retirement account matches, and fringe benefits like stock options or expense allowances.
You will need to have a thorough accounting of your lost income and benefits before your case is concluded because awards cannot be revisited later. If you have a long-term disability related to the accident, or you were climbing the ladder in your career, you may benefit from the help of an expert witness. They will offer projections and calculations that take into account the full impact that the injury will have on your earnings.
Evidence needed to prove a lost wage claim
As a plaintiff, you will have the burden of proving your claim, including the amount you have lost in wages.
Here are some of the things that your Los Angeles truck accident attorney may ask for to support your claim:
- Medical records documenting the type and extent of injury and prognosis.
- Payment records including pay stubs or other employer accounting to show how much you were earning when the accident occurred.
- Employment records or tax forms documenting how much work you missed and the earnings those represent.
- Doctors’ notes recommending that you take time off for documented injuries.
- Expert report if your claim involves long-term impairment that could derail career advancement or involve complex calculation of benefits.
Your personal injury lawyer will assemble evidence of your lost wages and other damages and present it to the defendant’s insurance company or lawyer in a demand package. It will outline the accident, explain how the truck driver or other defendants were at fault, and document the injuries and impact of the crash on you. It will also include the amount of money that your attorney believes is due to settle the claim.
Contact Our Team of Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers
Building a strong case from the beginning will help you achieve fair compensation at the end. Putting your trust in an experienced lawyer is the first step. At Salamati Law, our team takes the lead right away to assemble evidence of liability and damages like lost wages.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, call us today to find out how we can help. All consultations are free and confidential.
- Justia, CACI No. 3903C. Past and Future Lost Earnings (Economic Damage), https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3900/3903c/