Car accidents can leave you with severe injuries and render you unable to return to work due to your wounds and subsequent recovery. What if your company fires you from your job because of your extended absence, leaving you unemployed and with no income?
What are your options now? Can you sue the other driver for damages? We can help you understand the legal implications of suing for lost employment due to the negligence of another driver and decide whether it makes sense to seek damages for a lost job.
SEEKING DAMAGES FOR A LOST JOB IN ARIZONA
If the other driver involved has caused the accident, you can potentially collect damages for lost wages with interest because of your injuries. If you lose your job because of your injuries, two types of damage claims might apply: special damages and general damages.
Special damages include lost income, future lost earnings, wages, benefits, profits, and business opportunities. At a minimum, you are usually entitled to wages lost if you are unable to work because of your injuries. Lost income begins from the time of the accident until a doctor medical clears you to return to work.
General damages include lost earning capacity. On that claim, you have the burden to prove that you could have earned more by advancing to another position with higher pay, whether by promotion or getting a job with higher pay. In regards to earning capacity, the jury is asked to evaluate the injured persons future capacity to earn income before the accident compared to the capacity to earn income after the accident.
HOW DO YOU START A CLAIM FOR LOST EMPLOYMENT IN ARIZONA?
If you are seeking damages for lost income because of a car accident, you need to prove that you are unable to work because of your injuries. At a minimum, you’ll need a doctor’s note detailing work restrictions, evidence of disability, and medical records to show your injuries. You’ll also need a letter from your employer calculating the income lost. If your employer terminates you, demand a letter from your employer that were let o because of the accident-related injuries.
It’s worth noting that you can rarely recover lost earnings indefinitely, and some states limit noneconomic damages to a certain amount. Check state laws where you live to make sure you don’t exceed a legal limit in your damage claim before you file a lawsuit with the court.
YOUR DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGE
In almost all personal injury cases, you – the plaintiff – must ensure you make every effort to mitigate damages, even if you weren’t at fault in the accident. Persons who have fully recovered from their injuries must seek new employment as soon as they are physically able to do so. If you have recovered and you are not looking for work, you are likely to see a reduction in your damage award if the jury decides you did not take reasonable steps to obtain employment.
CAN I FILE A LAWSUIT FOR JOB LOSS DUE TO INJURIES FROM A CAR ACCIDENT IN PHOENIX?
If you, a friend, or a family member were seriously injured and unable to return to your job, you should contact a personal injury attorney. You may be in a position to file a lawsuit for lost income due to an auto accident. However, filing a lawsuit requires knowledge, skill, and experience managing the numerous obstacles in the way of obtaining just compensation.
Contact a local automobile accident attorney for help in your case. You need an attorney experienced in car accident cases who can take on the insurance companies and obtain a favorable settlement or award in your case.