Personal injuries caused by an accident that was due to no fault of their own, can have significant effects on every aspect of a client’s life. In many personal injury cases, these effects can include an impact on a person’s job or career. The loss of a job means the loss of income for the injured person and those who rely on him/her. Like every other item of damages associated with a traumatic injury, clients want to know whether wage losses or job losses are the types of damages that are available as part of a personal injury case.
Wage Loss And Accident Injury Connection
The key to whether such damages are recoverable in a personal injury case depends upon how much and what type of evidence you have which connects the wage loss to the injury. For example, if you miss wages as a result of your personal injury (such as a car accident injury), then you must connect your injury or treatment to the wage loss.
This can be done by showing the following:
1. Your medical appointments required an absence from work.
2. Your treating doctor restricted you from working and it is notated in a medical record.
Either of these situations can be demonstrated by reference to the medical records or medical appointments.
What About Job Loss Due To Injury?
Some clients not only miss wages as a result of their personal injuries but end up losing their jobs. It may appear to be unfair that an employer in Florida can fire you for an injury that you did not cause. Unless the injury was suffered while working (workers’ compensation injury), the employer has the right to terminate most employees for any reason, including their physical limitations that result from a traumatic injury. Business owners can work with clients, but most will only tolerate absences and limited work performance for so long before they determine that it is no longer in their best interest to keep you employed.
Obviously, if your employer can find some position that will allow you to continue your employment, that would be best for you. If, however, your employer doesn’t have any roles that are less physically demanding you may find yourself without a job and without an income while you are recovering from the injury.
Proper Documentation And Proof Of Termination Due To Injury
In order to be able to recover for wage loss associated with any personal injury case, you have to have evidence that connects your wage loss to the injury-causing event. This means that your termination or resignation should be documented in a way that connects your injury to your inability to work. These documents should reference a superior at your former employer so that you have not only a document as evidence but a witness that can be called to verify the basis of the termination/resignation. Ideally, if you can coordinate your departure from employment while your injury case is pending, you and your personal injury lawyer can make it clear for evidentiary purposes.
For instance, you and your personal injury lawyer can discuss the wording of the resignation letter or the termination notice and make sure that it references your absences since the injury, otherwise you would have remained gainfully employed.
Mitigating Your Lost Wages
Once you are without a job, it is important that you just don’t give up on making money. The law will require that you “mitigate” your lost wage damages. Just like the law requires that you seek medical treatment for your physical injuries, the law also requires that you try and find a replacement source of wages. This means only that you must make reasonable efforts to find a replacement source of income. This does not mean that you have to find a job but it certainly means that you have to use reasonable efforts to find any job that you are physically able to do that could replace some of the lost wages.
So, as you can see, losing a job while you are dealing with your personal injury case is not a simple business. It is complicated and deserves the attention of a law firm that has professionals working for you and your family. If you have questions about any personal injury matter, which would include a serious car accident injury, please feel free to reach out to zarzaurlaw.com or call our firm at 855HireJoe.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more.
Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you.
We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.