Answer – perhaps, but there are some steps you need to take to help yourself.
Let's say you're a delivery driver for fast food chain and an irresponsible driver negligently crashes into your car and totals it. You're injured, and your Dr. orders you off work for a few weeks. You notify your boss of your inability to work, and they let you go because they're short on drivers and need to fill your position.
Will the negligent driver's insurance company cover your lost wages, and for how long? The answer to the first question is a rather simple one. Under Ohio law, you are entitled to lost wages for your time off work because of your collision related injuries. A simple off work order from your physician will suffice and will allow you to claim your lost wages for the time period that your doctor has ordered you off work.
But what about the time period after your doctor releases you to return to work, and you no longer have a job because your employer terminated your employment because of the inability to work due to the crash? This is where it gets dicey,
However, there is one HUGE thing you need to do as soon as your doctor releases you to return to the work field. If you can't get your old job back, it is essential that you make every reasonable effort to find substitute employment the minute your doctor releases you. More importantly, you need to document your efforts to find substitute employment.
If you fill out an online application for work, save and print the application. If you fill out an application at a prospective employer's place of business, obtain a copy of the application. If you call a local business inquiring over the phone about a job opportunity, document in writing the date and time of the call and the name of the person you spoke with.
If you do all these things, and eventually land substitute employment-- let's say six weeks after you were released, you will have proven to the insurance company that you made reasonable efforts to find substitute employment, and you've now made a good case for claiming lost wages over that period of time.
Conversely, if you make no effort for weeks or months to find substitute employment, you've given the insurance company an argument that you could've secured a job much sooner, and therefore have given them ammo to deny your lost wage claim between the time you lost your job and the time you eventually secured a new job.
Remember, it's the insurance company's job to pay as little as possible on your claim. This doesn't make them evil; rather, it simply part of their business model. Doing everything you can do to try to find substitute employment as soon as possible will prove to them that you are a responsible person who tried to mitigate your losses.
With a little bit of effort and legwork, they will be more inclined to pay your lost wages over a reasonable period of time after you lost your job through no fault of your own.
Post a Comment