When people are injured in car accidents in Texas, they may be unable to work for a period of time as a result. Lost wages that are a consequence of a car accident may be recoverable as damages in a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay for lost wages and other damages even without filing a legal complaint or going to court. The typical process is to establish negligence and then prove damages.
Establishing negligence in a car accident claim
In the aftermath of a car accident, the different parties involved may not agree regarding whose fault the crash was. Texas follows a comparative negligence standard, which means that a person may bring a case for personal injury damages even if they are partially at fault for the crash. A person who is found to be more than 50% at fault, though, is barred from recovery. Making a case that the injured party is entitled to compensation might involve an examination of police reports, witness statements, photographs, scene reconstructions or other evidence.
Compensable damages after a crash
The most common types of damages typically recoverable after motor vehicle accidents are pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. Pain and suffering damages are general damages because they are not determinable by looking at receipts or other records. On the other hand, lost wages and medical expenses are specific damages because they are tied to actual costs or missed income in amounts that are readily provable.
Establishing lost wages
Proving the amount of lost wages to a court or insurance company usually involves determining how much work was missed as a result of the car accident and how much money the injured party would have earned if they had been able to work. Lost wages may also include loss of future earnings if the injuries are long-lasting.