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Can I Recover Lost Wages After an Oregon Car Crash?

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Sep 24, 2020 in Auto Accident

overdue medical billsAfter suffering injuries in an Oregon car accident, you may be facing costly medical expenses. These unexpected bills can be difficult to manage even when you are receiving your normal income. However, if you are unable to work while recovering or, worse still, you discover that you will be unable to return to the same job as before, that loss of income can be devastating.

What are lost wages in an injury claim, and what are your options for recovering this and other types of income? Rizk Law answers these questions and more, including why hiring a qualified attorney may benefit your claim.

Our firm offers free initial consultations to discuss your situation, and there is no obligation to hire our services. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs or attorney fees to pay. We only get paid if you do.

What Are Lost Wages?

If you were actively working at the time of your injury, you may be eligible to receive wage loss benefits. This compensation is intended to reimburse you for the money you would have earned if you were not missing work while recovering from your injuries.

Lost Wages Under Personal Injury Protection Benefits (PIP)

In Oregon, PIP is a required inclusion in your automobile insurance policy. Under this coverage, you may be eligible to receive up to 70 percent of your lost wages after 14 consecutive days of being unable to work. If you purchased the minimum coverage, your benefit limits will only cover you up to $15,000, which may not be enough if your injuries require a longer recovery period. However, you may consider purchasing higher limits of PIP coverage if you wish.

Monthly wage loss benefits are capped at $3,000. So, if you make $5,000 per month and 70 percent of those wages would be $3,500, you will still only receive the maximum benefit of $3,000 per month.

These benefits will continue until:

  • You are cleared to return to work
  • You exhaust your PIP limits

Recovering Lost Wages if You are Self-Employed

If you fall under the definition of being self-employed in Oregon, then you could be eligible to pursue compensation for the earnings you would have received if not injured.

You will need to provide evidence of lost income and opportunity, which could include copies of client contracts, invoices, and other documents, along with medical records that support your injury claims. This is something you can discuss further in your free initial consultation with one of our Portland car accident attorneys.

What Are Other Types of Lost Income

When pursuing loss of income after an accident that caused you to miss work while recovering, there are different types of compensation you may be eligible to receive. Many people may get confused and lump these related, but different terms, as being the same, but they apply to different ways that you suffered wage losses.

Lost Wages:

Money you would have earned if you did not miss work while recovering due to being injured in an accident.

Lost Opportunities:

Work-related opportunities that you were unable to participate in because of the accident and severity of your injuries.

Examples of lost opportunities could include a new job opportunity, career-related conference, a lost sales opportunity or even a job interview that would have resulted in a raise.

Lost Earning Potential:

Compensation you may be eligible for if your earning capacity has been directly and negatively impacted by your injuries.

For example, if you are unable to perform your previous job duties or return to your former career.

Loss of Future Income:

Related to lost earning potential, if you become partially or fully permanently disabled, and those injuries irreversibly affect your ability to work in the same career or earn the same amount of income, then you may be able to claim loss of future earnings as well.

The attorneys at Rizk Law have extensive experience handling personal injury cases, and we are prepared to determine all areas of income that you may be eligible to recover as the result of your injuries.

Evidence Your Attorney Needs to Prove Wage Loss

As we said earlier, you will need to be able to prove your eligibility.

To pursue lost wages, you will need the following documentation to support your claim:

  • Paystubs
  • W-2's
  • Most recent tax return
  • Letter from your employer
  • Doctor’s note

Can I Recover Lost Wages if I Contributed to the Crash?

According to Oregon law, yes, you will still be eligible for your PIP benefits, which includes lost wages, even if you helped cause the crash. In Oregon, PIP benefits are available regardless of who was at fault for an accident.

Get Help Recovering Income After a Car Crash

Pursuing lost wages after an Oregon car crash can be complicated. Making even simple errors can delay your claim. At Rizk Law, we handle these types of claims every day, and we are prepared to help you pursue maximum compensation for the lost wages and other damages you suffered in an accident caused by another’s negligence. Call: 503.245.5677 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we may be able to help you.

Call now for a FREE case evaluation!