The fact is car accidents have wide-sweeping implications on the lives of those who suffer injury as a result. Damages don’t always limit themselves to medical care and pain and suffering. If you’re injured in a car accident and it takes weeks to recover, it’s possible that recovery may spell more than just inconvenience for your life. One way in which a long recovery can impact you is the loss of a job.
If your employer notifies you that they are not able to keep your job vacant for the duration of your recovery, it may be possible to sue the at-fault driver for your lost income. Generally speaking, the at-fault driver in an accident may also be liable for loss of wages resulting from the accident. If you were discharged from employment because you were unable to work due to your injuries, you may sue the at-fault driver for two different types of damages: special damages and general damages.
Special Damages: Special damages include the loss of income or wages, profits benefits, and even business opportunities. If awarded, special damages may entitle you to the amount of income that you would have otherwise earned if the accident hadn’t occurred. The lost income would be calculated from the time of the accident up until the date when your medical condition is deemed stable.
General Damages: General damages represent a broader category of personal injury losses and are much more difficult to assign monetary value at the outset. They include lost future earnings and lost earning capacity. Calculating lost future earnings and earning capacity really relies on the potential you had to earn money before the accident versus the resulting potential or capacity you have directly following the accident. You will need to demonstrate what that capacity was then and is now. The court will then estimate your earning capacity by comparing the two levels of ability and deducting the resulting level from the original.
In order to recover damages after losing a job as a result of an accident, your attorney will have to demonstrate that the medical condition resulting from the accident actually prevented you from doing your job and that as a result you were terminated.
Of course, there may be what is called a “damage cap” on the amount you may recover in this circumstance. Those are often determined by state regulations. Your personal injury attorney will typically know what those limitations are.
Finally, as a plaintiff in a personal injury claim, it is always your responsibility to mitigate damages in your case. You cannot simply refrain from looking for a new job, should you be entitled to the recovery of lost wages. Once you are able, it is incumbent upon you to find a new job or new source of income to mitigate, where possible, the amount of damages the at-fault driver is responsible for.
If you’d like to learn more about personal injury damages resulting from a car accident, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago at 773.881.9000. We work hard to recover damages for you and we don’t get compensation unless we do.