Using my 30 years of experience as a car Crash Attorney I will be writing a series of Blog Articles explaining how car crash claims are handled in North Dakota. This in Car Crash Blog Volume 4: Wage Loss Benefits.
If you are injured in a car crash your injuries may prevent you from working. Your lost earning and also any loss of earning capacity are part of the damages you can recover from the person that caused the car crash.
However the recovery of damages from the driver that caused the crash may take many months. During that time you may not have any income to pay your bills. The best way to protect yourself from this serious financial situation is to purchase a general disability policy. A disability policy will provide replacement income whether you are injured in a car crash or disabled as a result of an illness or other injury.
In my experience very few people have disability insurance. In most cases people injured in a car crash are forced to rely on wage loss benefits provided by their No Fault/PIP insurance. After they have been injured most people find that their No fault/PIP insurance does not provide significant wage loss protection.
Wage loss benefits are limited to $150.00 per week under a basic benefit plan. This amount can be increased if you purchase extended No Fault/PIP coverage but it may be wise to compare the cost of extra premiums to the purchase of a general disability policy. Also remember that your basic No Fault/PIP benefits are limited to a total of $30,000.00. If you have suffered serious injuries in the car crash a significant amount of your No Fault/PIP benefits may be used up by your medical expenses.
There can be many problems in obtaining No Fault/PIP wage loss benefits. The actual term used in the statute is “work loss” and requires that the injured person would normally be employed in gainful activity. Problems can arise if you were between jobs when you were injured. Also if you were a student at the time of injury and the disability extends passed the end of you school year it may be difficult to establish that you are entitled to wage loss benefits.
The most basic requirement for obtaining wage loss benefits is that you must have a statement from your doctor saying you are unable to work as a result of your crash injuries. If you doctor has not taken you off work your insurance company is not going to pay you any wage loss benefits. Make sure a copy of your doctor’s disability statement is provided to your insurance company as soon as possible. You will also be required to provide periodic updates from your doctor confirming that you remain disabled.
If there are any significant delays in obtaining wage loss benefits or if your insurance company denies that you are disabled as a result of your car crash injuries you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You can use my Free Legal Advice Email from eLawPros to contact me with any questions that you have about No Fault/PIP wage loss benefits.
These informational articles can be found on my websites: 25% Contingent Fees on Selected Car Crash Cases.