Helping You Maximize Income Replacement After a Serious Car AccidentJune 29, 2023
The Importance of Experienced Legal Guidance
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and cannot return to work for a prolonged period, you may have access to multiple sources of income replacement. However, trying to figure out how these multiple sources of income interact and how best to maximize your return can be a challenging task. That is why it is important to have an experienced law firm guide you through the process.
Navigating Your Automobile Insurance Coverage
Your own automobile insurance will pay your income loss, but not for the first week after the accident. It will also pay only 70% of your pre-tax income to a paltry maximum of $400.00 per week.
Exploring Workplace Benefits
Your workplace may cover your full income loss immediately after your accident through sick days or short-term disability benefits provided under a group benefits plan. Typically, this would equal your full pre-accident income, but may only last until your sick days or your short-term disability benefits run out in a matter of weeks.
Long-Term Disability Coverage
Some individuals have long-term disability coverage through their group benefit plan, or through a private insurance plan they have purchased. The only problem with most of these plans is that they will not pay during the “waiting period”, which is typically the first three or four months after the accident. When they do pay, they may pay only 60% or 70% of your pre-accident income.
The Importance of Expert Legal Advice
The choices are complicated, and choosing the wrong option without expert legal advice from an accident lawyer can result in a real shortfall.
A Practical Example
For example, let’s say you are in a serious car accident and can’t work for a prolonged period of time. Assume you earn $1,000 per week and you have 30 available sick days, no short-term disability benefits, and long-term disability benefits with a four-month waiting period before they kick in. In that scenario, you would use up your sick days first, since they would equal your full pay of $1,000.00 per week for one month. You would not apply for income replacement from your automobile insurance, even though that appears to be the logical choice, because automobile insurance pays a mere maximum of $400 per week and doesn’t even cover your first week off work.
Recovering Lost Income
After the first month, however, you will have no choice but to apply for the automobile insurance benefits of $400.00 per week until your long-term disability benefits start in the fifth month after your accident (due to the four-month waiting period). At that point, with our guidance, you would apply for long-term disability benefits and receive 70% of your full income, which is $700.00 per week. Without our help, many people would not even realize they had access to long-term disability benefits and would continue to lose $300.00(!) per week by relying solely on automobile insurance until they returned to work.
Ensuring Financial Stability with Professional Support
Our firm can even help to recover the $300.00 per week you lost while getting a mere $400.00 weekly from your automobile insurer. We can recover this from the driver who caused the car accident in the first place, along with compensation for pain and suffering, although it may take a little extra time to recoup.
Navigating the Complexities of Income Replacement
As you can see, navigating the income replacement maze after a motor vehicle collision can be extremely difficult and could cost you money if you handle things on your own. Let our experienced team help you and your family to ensure that the maximum amount of income continues to roll in during your accident recovery so you don’t fall into debt and despair.
At Himelfarb Proszanski, we build winning cases. That’s the HimPro Advantage™.
Content Updated: Originally published April 10, 2014
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.