Car accidents happen. They can range from mildly annoying to severely damaging and even deadly. If you are the victim of a car accident, your work can be affected in many cases, and most employers are understanding. But in isolated cases, employees have been fired for missing work after an accident where they were not at fault. If that seems unfair, it’s because it is. And you have the right to sue for damages if this has happened to you.
You can sue for lost wages in the past as well as impaired ability to work in the future, and a good lawyer will be able to guide you on a path to being awarded the income you lost as well as additional compensation for the other aspects of the conditions resulting from the accident. Hiring a lawyer is the smartest thing you can do to get your life back on track. Here are some guidelines to this process.
Special and General Damages
You are entitled to receive payment for any monetary losses, including lost wages, profits or business opportunities, if you are unable to return to work. These are called special damages, and they refer to the economics of the situation. Until you are ready to go back to work, you should receive compensation.
A car accident can affect more than just your present capacity to earn income. It can affect your future ability to work. General damages include loss of capacity to earn in the future. For example, a writer who injures their hands may not be able to type as fast, or at all, after a bad accident.
This would prevent them from being able to return to the same line of work in the same way. You will need to provide evidence in the form of documentation of how much money you would be making if you were not injured, compared to what you will be able to earn now. This would be classified under general damages.
In order to prove that your accident caused you to be unable to work and therefore be fired, you will need to provide proof of both of these facts: the accident and the termination. A medical professional can give you documentation of your injuries and his recommendations for rest and recovery. This will serve as evidence that you are incapacitated, and therefore your not being able to return to work was not your fault.
Then there is the matter of proving you were terminated from your job, and this is usually provided in the form of a termination letter from your employer. If you were not given a letter when you were fired, the HR department will usually provide this if you simply ask for it. A police report of the accident will also be helpful in this case.
Returning to Work
As soon as your doctor gives you the okay to return to work, you will be obligated to look for and secure employment, even if it is not in the same field and capacity. Mitigation of damages is defined as looking for work as soon as you are able; if you don’t, the court may lessen the amount of damages that you are awarded.
Accident cases are the specialization of OWCP Docs of Houston. Call us for claim assistance and get on the road to recovery (713) 231-5507.