If I was rear-ended last week and lost time from work, what should I do?

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If I was rear-ended last week and lost time from work, what should I do?

The other party claimed total fault for the accident. I work for the airlines and since I was not given a rental vehicle until the following day, I had to miss work and my wages for a trip that I was supposed to work the same evening. I also had a immediate migraine from the accident but wanted to wait until the following day to see if it was simply stress related. I requested compensation from the other parties insurance company for lost wages but my fear is that since I was not “hurt” physically they will not pay for my lost time. It was a significant loss for my over $600. What should my next move be?

Asked on March 17, 2015 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were not injured in the accident, reject any settlement offer that does not include compensation for your wage loss.  If the case is not settled, sue the at-fault party for negligence.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include compensation for wage loss.

It is not uncommon for auto accident injuries to manifest themselves days or weeks and sometimes months after the accident.  If you receive medical treatment for the headache and any other accident-related injuries, your wage loss will be part of your personal injury claim.

The personal injury claim is separate from the property damage claim.  You can settle the property damage claim (cost of repairs to your car, rental car cost, etc.) without affecting the personal injury claim and again the personal injury claim will include wage loss, medical bills, and pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) when you complete your treatment.

Again, if you don't have a personal injury claim, don't settle the property damage claim unless it includes compensation for wage loss.


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