I was in a car accident I was not at fault and have had medical issues that the Dr said was traumatic brain injury.

Asked 11 months ago - Vancouver, WA

The dr said I cannot work until cleared, which will mean a minimum of 3 months of no work. Is there a way to get loss of pay. The insurance company says they will give me $200 per week, but I was making up to $1000 per week working. My lawyer doesn't seem to be doing anything. What are my options?

Attorney answers (13)

  1. Scott W Edwards

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You will want to speak with your attorney about this. Ask for an in-person meeting. Likely what is happening is your PIP insurance is currently covering your lost wages, at the policy limit of $200/week, and your attorney is waiting to bring a claim against the adverse driver for the full amount of your lost wages. So, when you say your attorney "doesn't seem to be doing anything" it is likely that he is, but he is just waiting for the appropriate time to attempt to resolve the claim against the adverse driver--now is not it.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. DISCLAIMER: This information is for general... more
  2. Travis Scott Eller

    Contributor Level 11

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You probably will not get your full lost wages until you settle or litigate your entire claim for all damages - medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. The other driver's insurance company is not going to settle on just the lost wage claim and leave the rest to be determined (except sometimes property damage).

    By "the insurance company" I assume you mean your own insurance company. They will pay whatever you are entitled under your policy, which may well be only $200 per week.

    Your attorney may not seem to be doing anything, but that is not necessarily so. In fact, there may not be a whole any attorney can do until your medical condition is more stable and damages including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages are better known.

    Best of luck to you.

    This answer is based on limited information provided and is not a substitute for legal advise. No attorney-client... more
  3. William Kennard Thayer

    Contributor Level 3

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would recommend that you discuss your concerns with your existing attorney. The difficulty is, unless you have a disability policy (which should be activated if you do) or are eligible for some form of government benefits, the amount of income loss continuation benefits you can get under your own auto insurance coverage is limited to what your auto policy allows, and while the full amount of your lost wages and impaired earnings capacity may be collectible when you settle or collect on a judgment obtained against the party who caused your injury, getting to that stage of your personal injury claim/litigation may take some time. Many injury attorneys routinely advise their clients not to try to settle their claims before the injury is fully understood and a reliable prognosis available. You are in a difficult situation, but it is not one that can likely be immediately rectified by your attorney. Talk this out though with your present lawyer to make sure there aren’t any other reasonable resources (such as a second layer of auto PIP coverage, a disability policy, or government benefits, for example) that you might seek out to alleviate your current income needs.

  4. Steven L Shaw

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The fact that you are represented makes it tough for us to respond. These questions are the exact ones that you rely on your lawyer to answer.

    In general, the $200 a week is the standard amount paid by your PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance for wage loss. Unless you have private disability insurance through work or a policy you pay for on your own, there is probably not another source from which to expect payment, except for the at-fault party.

    The problem is, the at-fault party will only pay for your wage loss when they are ready for final settlement, which could take some time.

    Again, make an appointment with your attorney to discuss this issue so that you can figure out what to do in the mean time.

    This response does not constitute representation or the formation of the attorney/client relationship.
  5. David A. Papa

    Contributor Level 16

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First of all, you have an attorney so you should be asking he or she this very question. That is why you hired your attorney. You need to have trust and confidence in your attorney and coming to a public forum probably does not best inspire those traits. Have a sit down with your attorney ASAP--

  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your lawyer isn't going anything, you are free to get a new attorney.

  7. Richard Todd Rosenstein

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should pose this question to your own lawyer who is uniquely familiar with the facts of your case. If you do not already have a personal injury lawyer, you should contact one in your jurisdiction immediately.

  8. Robert Daniel Kelly

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should speak with your lawyer about it. It is often disconcerting how you might not get an enormous amount of money out of an insurance company instantaneously. Full recovery can take years. If you had Personal Injury Protection with your own insurance company, then they usually step up and fulfill the terms of their contract with you. The bad news is that the insurance company for the at-fault party will probably fight to pay as little as possible.

    [In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more
  9. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Assuming you have qualified counsel, schedule an in person meeting. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  10. Jason Henry Schauer

    Contributor Level 11

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am very sorry to hear this. You need a good attorney immediately. You will be taken care of but you absolutely need representation. I suggest reviewing our reviews here on avvo and perhaps calling one of the excellent lawyers here. The best of luck to you.

  11. Karen J. Zimmer

    Contributor Level 4

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are a number of things to consider and discuss with your lawyer. If a crime was involved, such s the other driver being intoxicated, then you need to open a claim with Crime Victim's through L&I to assist with your wages. If you have FMLA at work, or disability insurance then you need to tap into those benefits. If it begins to look like you will be off work 12 months, then apply for Social Security Disability. Double check your insurance to be sure your declarations page shows you purchased $200/week coverage, rather than $700/week coverage. If you are able to return to work light duty you may still be able to recover your PIP benefits of $200/week. You may need to apply for State benefits through the Healthcare Authority. Check your credit cards to find out if you purchased credit/life/disability coverage that will pay your bills while you are out of work. Some of your healthcare providers' offer financial aid for your medical bills so should check with them about help on your bills. Your utility bills may also offer financial assistance so call their billing departments for financial assistance as well. In the end, I hope you are better soon, and I hope these suggestions are of some help to you.

  12. Ronnie M Rae

    Contributor Level 5

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Be patient with your attorney. Sadly attoneys tend to work much faster than insurance companies. Although I am a believer that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Unfortunately you may be underinsured, but you need to keep track of your lost wages for the final disposition of your case.

  13. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . One option is to discuss what his or her expectations for the case are. If you are unsatisfied with the work of your current attorney, you can always seek a second opinion from another experienced attorney in your area. Be cautious of attorneys who tell you what you want to hear. If it turns out that you want to hire another attorney, most attorneys will help you substitute your current attorney out. Best of luck.

Related Topics

Personal injury

If you suffer a personal injury as the result of the actions or negligence of another, you may seek financial compensation for physical or emotional damages.

Personal injury and brain injury

Brain injury is a serious type of personal injury, and can be the result of many different causes, ranging from car accidents to exposure to toxic chemicals.

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