Salaried employee able to seek lost wages if in an auto accident?
Started by QUICKQUESTION1_ , May 13 2013 12:03 PM
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3 replies to this topic
Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:03 PM
I am a salaried employee who was in an auto accident. I was not driving on behalf of my employer. I have been asked by the person at fault's insurance company to complete a wage and hour form. I am a salaried employee however the majority of my income is generated from commission. I spent three months in physical therapy ( 1 hour session, three times a week for three months). Is it possible for me to obtain "lost wages" for the lost time in the office? Lost time seems very hard to define. I wonder if this is worth pursing or if I should just take reimbursement for my medical bills and settle.
P.S. I am a high salaried professional. I am not sure if that helps or hurts my claim.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:27 PM
Before you proceed to settle, you may want to consult with a local Car Accident Lawyer to advise you of your rights. Many lawyers do offer a free consultation.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:30 PM
As I understand your post, you receive both salary and commission. You describe yourself as being "high salaried" but also say that you generate "the majority of [your] income . . . from commission." But your post is completely unclear as to whether or not you lost income as a result of the accident. Your post only tells us that you did an hour of PT thrice weekly. However, for all we know, you did that outside of working hours.
If, at all relevant times, you were paid your salary, then you did not lose any salary. If the reason you were paid your salary was because you used vacation and sick time, that is compensable (i.e., the at fault person's insurer doesn't get a free pass because you had a bunch of PTO saved up). So, did you or did you not get paid your salary?
Commission can be a little trickier. However, if you have an established history to which you can point, it shouldn't be a major issue. For example, let's say that the accident happened in February 2013. Let's also say that, during the 36 months from February 2010 through January 2013, you http://local-attorney-lawyer-search.com/murrieta-attorney/ earned an average of $10k per month in commission with no month in which you earned less than $9k and no month in which you earned more than $11k. Let's further say that, from February through May 2013, you only earned and will earn an average of $4k in commission and that, after that, you will go back to your normal range. Absent any other factor causing the drop in commission, you should be entitled to compensation of $18k. Depending on how your commission is structured, the calculations could be more complicated (e.g., you'll miss out on some year-end bonus). However, again, with an established history, you shouldn't have much problem (assuming the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance coverage). Without an established history, then lost income from commissions becomes more speculative.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 04:58 PM
If there is a lot of money involved in this (and several months at a high income likely qualifies), you should consider hiring a local attorney to negotiate with the insurance company for you. Remember that the insurance company's person is trying to settle for the least amount possible (and likely gets a bonus if you settle for a lower amount than you are entitled to), and that person negotiates these things for a living, as opposed to you doing this for the first time. In other words, that person has much more information on this, and he is not going to share it with you during negotiations. You would be much better off hiring an expert to negotiate for you.
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