Can You Lose Your Job After Being Injured in an Auto Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you sustain car accident injuries, you might be unable to perform the same tasks at your job that you did previously, either temporarily or permanently. For someone recovering from an injury, the possibility of losing their job is an additional and unnecessary source of stress.
Michigan is an at-will state, which means it’s legal for an employer to fire an employee for any reason, including firing for no reason at all. If you lose your job because of your injuries, there are some exceptions to the at-will rule.
You may also have the right to sue for damages related to your loss of income against the other driver. If you sustain serious injuries that affect your ability to return to work or do your job, consult an experienced Michigan lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
What Are My Rights After a Car Accident Injury?
Under state and federal regulations, you are entitled to take time off for personal reasons. It is illegal for employers in Michigan to discipline or fire employees who exercise these rights:
Federal medical leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to employees in Michigan. Under the FMLA, companies with 50 or more employees must provide their employees with a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year, subject to a few requirements.
One of these requirements includes employees with serious health conditions who cannot work. If an employee takes an FMLA leave of absence, the company must reinstate them in their previous position.
Earned sick time
At the start of each benefit year, companies in Michigan with 50 or more employees must provide a minimum of 40 hours of paid medical leave to employees who work a minimum of 35 hours per week. This regulation covers employees if they suffer from a mental or physical disorder, injury, or condition. It also covers their medical diagnosis, treatment, and preventative medical care.
Employees who qualify for paid medical leave must follow their employer’s customary notice, procedure, and paperwork requirements. The employer must give the employee at least three days to submit the paperwork for paid medical leave.
Michigan’s workers’ compensation benefits
If you were working on behalf of your company at the time of the accident (such as an Uber driver or taxi driver), you might qualify for workers’ comp benefits. Michigan Workers’ Compensation covers the victim’s medical bills and 80% of your lost income.
To qualify for the wage loss benefits, you must prove your work-related injury caused you to lose your wage-earning capacity in the area of your education and training. If you file a successful claim for workers’ compensation payments, the amounts will be deducted from the no-fault PIP benefits.
How Can I File for Lost Wages From My Car Accident
Under no-fault insurance policies, injured victims can also receive wage loss benefits for up to three years if they cannot work because of a car accident. The law provides for a payment of 85% of gross income, including overtime. To make a claim, you must contact your auto insurance company and provide proof of lost income resulting from time off work. Your doctor must provide a work disability certificate. You also need to have verification from your employer stating your regular wage amount.
If your claim is successful, the insurance company must send you a check within 30 days of receiving your documentation. If you do not receive it within that time, your benefits are overdue.
The benefits have a monthly maximum that changes every October to keep up with the cost of living. However, these increases only apply to accidents that happen after the date of the change. The maximum monthly benefits remain in effect until the end of the three-year benefit period.
Can I Sue for Lost Wages from Getting Injured in a Car Accident?
You can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver for excess lost wages beyond the maximum monthly amount. Under Michigan law, you can bring a third-party tort claim against the at-fault driver for excess and future loss of income.
Your claim represents what you could earn in the future every year if you hadn’t been injured in the accident. Besides the costs, the future loss of income also depends on the costs and losses you will sustain in the future. The court then calculates your earning capacity by comparing what you could accomplish before the injury with what you can reasonably do now.
An attorney can pursue your loss of excess and future income claims against the negligent, at-fault driver who caused the accident for all future economic damage not covered by no-fault insurance. You might also be able to sue for other non-economic damages related to your job loss, including pain and suffering.
If You’re Injured and Lose Your Job, Contact an Auto Accident Attorney
The litigation process can become complex when dealing with your employer, an at-fault driver, and their motor vehicle insurance company. A skilled car accident lawyer from Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. can work with you to ensure you are receiving all the benefits you’re eligible for and that your rights are protected.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.