Feb 252014

There are a couple of ways you may be compensated for lost pay caused by the car accident.  The first way is through your own car insurance company.  The second way to recover your lost wages is to file a lawsuit against the at fault driver, assuming that the other driver was negligent and caused the car accident.

Recovering Lost Pay Through Your Car Insurance Company

If you bought a “standard” NJ car insurance policy, you had the option to choose different coverage amounts for different types of coverage, such as medical coverage.  If you didn’t choose an amount for medical coverage, the default is $250,000.  This medical coverage is known as PIP medical benefits, and it covers your medical expenses from a motor vehicle accident regardless of who caused the accident.  Therefore, if the other driver caused the accident, you would still make a PIP claim for medical benefits with your car insurance company.  See Injured in a NJ Car Accident? – The Basics of Medical Benefit (PIP) Claims.

The PIP benefit can also include coverage for lost wages, known as income continuation. This PIP benefit is optional, and the insurance company must have offered it to you when you purchased your policy.  Unlike PIP medical coverage, if you don’t choose lost wages or income continuation, the coverage does not default to a specific amount.  Rather, there is simply no income continuation coverage.

Therefore, if you did opt for the optional PIP benefit for lost wages, you may make a PIP claim with your insurance company for lost wages.  In order to make a claim, you must provide written notice of lost wages to your insurance company. You will then receive a packet of forms from the insurance company to fill out.  In order to obtain these benefits after a car accident, you must be able to provide proof and documentation of lost wages from your employer.

In general, the maximum amount you may receive pursuant to NJ car accident law is $100 a week, subject to an amount or limit of $5,200. However, the maximum amounts may be higher depending on the coverage amounts you elected. Therefore, it is crucial to review your policy benefits with an experienced car accident lawyer.

Related: How to Recover Lost Wages After a New Jersey Car Accident (Part 1)

Recovering Lost Pay by Filing a NJ Car Accident Lawsuit

For most injured drivers who are eligible for the $100 weekly income continuation benefits, $100 is only a fraction of their weekly salary.  Therefore, injured drivers can also file a lawsuit against an at fault driver to recover the lost wages that are not covered by the income continuation benefits. For example, if your weekly salary is $1000 and you receive $100 weekly income continuation benefits, you can make a claim to recover $900, the difference between your salary and the weekly benefit amount.

In your situation, if you have income continuation benefits, you may file a PIP lost wage claim and also file a NJ car accident lawsuit against the at fault driver to recover your lost wages. Even if you do not have income continuation benefits, you may still file a lawsuit against the other driver to recover lost wages.

If you would like to discuss your car accident in Camden, feel free to call 800.281.8695 to schedule a FREE consultation.

*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in New Jersey. This website page does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing Mr. Ciprietti does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.