Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Healthcare and Your Personal Injury Claim - Wage and Income Loss

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by Chris Thayer

As as result of injuries suffered in an accident, it is not uncommon for accident victims to miss some time from work. Under Washington law, if suffer wage or income loss as a result of an accident caused by the negligence of another, you have the right to an award of these damages as part of your personal injury claim. However, it is important to keep in mind two things: (1) as the claimant you have the burden of proving that your damages (including wage loss) were the result of the injuries suffered in the accident; and (2) insurance companies are skeptical and are not inclined to compensate accident victims for any wage or income loss without documentation. So what do you do?

If the injuries from an accident make it impossible for you to go to work, that is completely understandable. However, if you want to be able to recover these lost wages you are going to most likely need approval from your physician or healthcare provider. Make sure that your healthcare provider specifically authorizes you to be off of work for a specific time period (two weeks, etc.) and that they document that this is the result of the injuries suffered in the accident. If you do not have documented approval from your healthcare provider (and ideally a physician), most insurance companies are not inclined to pay wage loss claims.

Even if you are self-employed it is possible to recover lost income if you can establish that the income loss was a result of injuries received in the accident. In addition, if you take sick leave from work it is possible to receive compensation for wage loss on your claim, even though you may have received compensation from your employer for the time off. The idea is that if you have to use your sick leave for accident-related injuries, this takes away from you ability to use those sick days for other times when you have an illness. The key to being able to recover any of these damages is clear documentation from your employer and your healthcare providers. This can get rather complicated and it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have questions about how to collect wage or income loss for your personal injury claim.