Proving Your Lost Wages
After a serious auto accident, you need more than just your medical bills paid. Your injuries will often take you away from your job – for days, months, or even years. Even though you aren’t working, you still need to pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, credit card payments, not to mention put food on the table. Your Michigan no-fault auto insurance policy includes benefits of up to 85% of your lost wages for up to 3 years. But to get access to those benefits, you have to prove your lost wages. That’s where the auto accident attorneys at Christensen Law come in.
Employer Statement of Earnings
The Michigan No-Fault Act allows an insurance company to request a statement of earnings directly from your employer. The request will cover a reasonable period of time before the crash and any earnings you have made since. The purpose of this is to provide a base-line for your lost wages benefits.
Sometimes, however, auto insurance companies will use these income statements against you. They may argue, for example, that your part-time schedule before the accident was unpredictable, so they don’t have to pay you your full average monthly income. Or they may claim that your post-injury earnings show that you are clearly able to work and no longer need lost-wage benefits.
The Christensen Law team will help put those earning statements into perspective. By documenting all of your income sources and what life looked like for you before the accident and after, our auto accident attorneys will help demonstrate how much you really made, and how little you are able to work now.
What if you are paid under the table, or have a sideline source of income? Those probably won’t show up on an Employer Statement of Earnings. Michigan law allows you and your attorneys to use any methods available to prove your income, not just formal employer statements of earnings. For example, your car accident attorney may present bank records showing regular deposits, or bring in evidence of the craft business you used to supplement your income. Not everything shows up on a W-2. When your income is more complicated, you need attorneys who will help you dig to find the proof you need to collect your lost wage benefits.
Unemployed Wage Loss Benefits
Sometimes auto collisions happen when you aren’t working. If you were unemployed at the time of your accident, you can collect compensation based on how much you could have made. Your no-fault attorneys will put together proof of your past professional experience and income, as well as evidence of your job search efforts. However, if you were not actively looking (for example, if you were a stay-at-home parent), or were already receiving disability benefits, the law won’t allow you to make money because of your accident.
Demonstrating lost wages isn’t as simple as turning over tax returns. Make sure you are compensated for all your income. Contact the auto accident attorneys at Christensen Law today for a free consultation.