After a car accident, you might end up losing time from work. As a result, you may be out hundreds or thousands of dollars. The insurance company for the other party is not going to pay your lost earnings just because you are a nice person. They are going to want proof of those lost earnings.
First of all, in most cases, the insurance company is going to want to see that a doctor told you to stay off work. You can't simply choose to stay home and watch "Oprah" reruns on TV because you don't feel good. Missing one or two days from work won't require much proof but if you allege a week or more, they are going to want to see that you were advised to stay off work. That means you need to obtain and keep "stay off work" notes from your doctor.
You should also be prepared to provide a "Lost Wage Verification" of some sort. Don't sign any authorizations prepared by the opposing insurance company. You don't want them fishing through your employment records. Remember, most insurance adjusters are looking for reasons NOT to pay you. You can have your verification signed by your payroll department, a supervisor, your boss, etc. The verification is basically a letter containing the following: Your employer's name, dates of employment missed due to the accident, rate of pay, total amount of pay lost, title of the person signing the form, and their printed name and signature. If there are previous pay stubs showing regular pay, that also might help substantiate your claim. When there are significant claims for lost earning, tax returns may be necessary to show earning patterns year after year.
In summary, you need to actually prove your lost earnings claim. Documentation is key. Don't depend on the responsible party's insurance company to do this for you. Remember, they are not there to prove your case for you. You need to take control of this and be proactive.
If you need help with your personal injury case, give me a call for a free consultation. My office serves Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Newhall, Canyon Country, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch and surrounding areas. Here is a link to my video regarding lost earnings.
Every day, we get calls from people looking to hire a personal injury lawyer here in Santa Clarita and surrounding areas. However, we have to turn them away because it turns out they don't have much of an injury! In some cases, they aren't injured at all but insist on "drawing blood" from someone who "wronged" them. In auto accident cases, there is little my legal representation can do if there is no visible damage to the vehicles! Here are two funny videos created by personal injury lawyers in New York that drive the point home in a clever (and over-dramatic) manner. Remember, you actually have to be injured to bring a claim for personal injury!
Therefore, if you have suffered a significant injury from an accident, give us a call to discuss your options. We serve Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch and surrounding communities.
Many times, I ask my clients for copies of the medical bills they incurred after an accident. Immediately after a car accident, some people go to the doctor, hospital, etc and start incurring medical bills. These are some of the bills I need to help properly represent my clients. Some doctors will provide this information directly to me, especially if they've handled personal injury matters in the past.
The answer I almost always get is, "Oh, I got that from my health insurance company. They sent me the bills in the mail." Well, my clients are usually wrong about this. What they actually got is an "Explanation of Benefits" form (also known as an EOB Statement). This form is from their insurance company. It generally shows what they were billed, any discounts applied to the bill, what the health care insurance actually paid (if anything), and any amount the client is expected to pay. It looks like a bill of some sort, but it's not a bill. It's an "explanation" of benefits.
You see, the EOB statement is NOT your bill. The actual bill is a recitation of all the services etc. you received from a particular health care provider and how much they charged you for the services. It's similar to shopping at the store - they give you a receipt that shows all the things you bought and how much you were charged. That's what I need. What you get from the health care insurance company is a document generated internally by the health insurance company - not the actual bill from the health care provider.
Your co-pay and EOB information is important but it's not the actual bill. How do you get the actual bills? You call the health care provider and say, "Hey, send me my bills." They will either mail/fax them to you or you can pick them up. You are entitled to that information. Make sure to forward all bills to your attorney. Realize that many health care providers do not do their own billing. Their billing is often handled by a third party company, often off the premises, and sometimes not even in California. Either way, you are entitled to your own bills.
I also like to get copies of my clients' EOB statements as well to show clearly what was billed and what was paid. That information is also important, but please don't confuse your EOB statements for your actual health care billing. They are not the same thing.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.