If you were injured in a car crash, you might be suffering from physical and emotional trauma, as well as financial strain due to medical bills and an inability to work. However, it is important to understand wage loss benefits through no-fault insurance.
In Michigan, these wage loss benefits can cover up to 85% of your gross pay, including overtime. These benefits can be payable up to three (3) years after the date of an accident.
However, before these benefits can be offered, a physician must establish that you are unable to return to or are disabled from due to an accident-related injury. Furthermore, a doctor should be able to estimate when you will be able to return to work, which might change throughout the recovery process.
Instead of navigating the claims process alone, however, consider reaching out to a qualified lawyer at the Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. By enlisting a well-versed attorney, you could have help to understand the full extent of benefits offered under no-fault insurance, as well as the other avenues for recovery that might be available for you.
How to Submit a Claim to Recover Lost Wages
After a crash, a claim for wage loss and income benefits must be submitted to the insurance adjuster that is working on the case. However, before submitting a claim for wage loss benefits, a claimant must secure a note from their doctor and submit a wage verification form.
Before a claim can be filed, an injured motorist must secure a note from their doctor—usually an Attending Physician’s Report—that disables them from working. On this note, the doctor should also indicate the period of time that the applicant might unable to work.
Wage Verification Form
A claimant must also submit a wage verification form, given to them by their employer, to the insurance adjuster. The insurance company may also request copies of pay stubs and tax returns in order to verify the injured claimant’s employment at the time of the car accident. However, if an applicant was not employed at the time of the crash, but was actively look for a job, they could instead submit copies of recent job applications to prove they were seeking employment. If so, an insurance company might check with the business the applicant was applying for in order to prove they were actually looking for work.
How Often Should I Submit a Claim for Lost Wages?
If a claim is successfully submitted for wage loss benefits in Michigan, it is smart to submit a claim for lost wages every thirty days in order to receive regular payments. These claims may be submitted one year from the date of the previous submission and allow a person to receive these benefits for that twelve-month period. If the insurance company refuses to pay wage loss benefits, a person would have to pursue a lawsuit against them in order to request compensation. This lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date of the last unpaid bill was incurred.
Will Social Security Impact My Wage Loss Benefits?
Social security aid can impact wage loss benefits in Michigan. If an injured applicant is also receiving social security disability benefits (or disability benefits under another policy) the insurance company may be able to “set off” the amount it owes an applicant. In effect, the company can reduce benefits by the amount the applicant is receiving through social security or another source of aid.
Of course, this would depend on the type of benefits being paid, as well as the nuances of a person’s specific auto insurance plan.
Furthermore, it is important for applicants to understand that if they receive social security benefits after a car crash, they might be required to pay the auto insurance company some of the wage loss benefits previously paid to them. Because of these nuances, consulting with a knowledgeable lawyer in Michigan might prove useful.
Can a Doctor Return an Accident Victim to Work With Restrictions?
In some cases, a physician might determine that an injured worker can return to work, but with restrictions. These restrictions might include:
- Sit-down job duties only
- Limited sitting
- Standing restrictions
- Limited standing
- Walking restrictions
- Single hand or arm jobs
- Weight lifting restrictions
- Pushing, pulling, bending and lifting restrictions
- Overhead restrictions
- Time restrictions
If a doctor returns an injured claimant to work with restrictions attached, but an employer cannot accommodate these restrictions, a person might still receive wage loss benefits until they can either return to work without restrictions or until their employer finds them a job they can perform with the restrictions in place.
Call a Lawyer to Discuss Wage Loss Benefits Under Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance
After a car accident, you might be traumatized and unsure of how to proceed. However, due to the benefits offered under no-fault insurance, it is important to assess the options available to you before proceeding.
By reaching out to a dedicated attorney, you could discuss the wage loss benefits offered under Michigan’s no-fault insurance and decide if they would suit your needs. If so, a skillful attorney could help to gather the proper evidence and forms needed to file a claim—as well as to fight for your rights in the event of a denial. To learn more, call a legal professional today.
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