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Michigan Car Accident FAQs – Lost Wages

What If My Car Accident Injuries Keep Me From Working?

Getting injured in a car accident is an extremely unpleasant and frustrating experience. Sometimes the injuries prevent the accident victim from working. In these cases, the stress is magnified as the bills pile up. However, the Michigan no-fault law provides an avenue for quick relief. Under the law, the no-fault insurance carrier responsible for paying the no-fault PIP claim (usually your own car insurance company) is obligated to pay 85% of lost wages. So long as you provide proof of wages as well as a disability script from a doctor disabled you from employment due to the car accident, the car insurance carrier must pay lost wages within 30 days of receipt. Proof of wages can be done in a number of different ways. Providing pay stubs for a few months prior to the car accident gives the insurance company a baseline for your rate of pay, hours worked, overtime worked and other wage information. Often, the auto insurance company will want your employer to complete a Wage, Salary and Employment Verification Form. If this is in fact the case, ask the car insurance company to provide you with this document directly. Take the document to human resources or your boss to get it completed as quickly as possible. Getting the verification form completed by your employer can often be the biggest hold-up in getting your wage loss claim paid. Checking in with the car insurance adjuster handling your claim to check on the status of the claim is important. In the claims process, the squeaky wheel often gets the grease. Wage loss benefits are available to the Michigan car accident victim without regard to fault. So even if you caused the car accident, you are still entitled to wage loss benefits. In addition, it is important to contact any short-term disability (STD) insurance carrier or long-term disability (LTD) carrier you may have to inquire about wage loss payments while you are off work. Many employers provide STD or even LTD to employees as a benefit. Entitlement to such policies usually involve the completion of an application as well as detailed medical notes from a treating physician, outlining the injured person’s medical conditions and reasons for disability from work.  It is important the injured person gets this documentation completed as quickly as possible to ensure prompt payment of disability payments. Typically, the Michigan no-fault insurance carrier responsible for paying wage loss benefits will get set-off from any STD or LTD payments paid by another insurance carrier. For example, if you are entitled to receive $100 in no-fault wage loss benefits, and you are receiving $65 in STD payments following a car accident, the auto insurance company may only have to $35 in wage loss benefits. It is important to check your own insurance policy to find out if this set-off is required. If you have a coordinated no-fault policy that is coordinated for wage loss with a disability carrier, then the set-off is probably mandatory. It your policy is not coordinated for wage loss, then there not be a set-off and you can keep the whole thing. The Michigan car accident injury lawyer at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm handle Michigan car wrecks throughout the state. We specialize in Michigan lost wage cases. Call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) so we can assist you on your claim.