What Happens If You Can’t Work After Your Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists are more at risk of suffering severe, catastrophic and life-changing injuries in automobile accidents than passenger car occupants. If you suffered serious injuries in a Louisville motorcycle accident that interfered with your ability to go back to work – either temporarily or permanently – you may be entitled to financial compensation for your lost earnings, ability to earn and employment benefits.
Financial Compensation for Your Lost Wages
It is not uncommon for an injured motorcycle accident victim to be unable to immediately return to work. Crash victims often require hospital stays and treatments such as surgeries, physical therapy and rehabilitation. Even if an injured motorcyclist can eventually go back to work, it may take weeks or months for the victim to return and earn what he or she was making before the crash. Luckily, as a crash victim in Kentucky, there are legal options that may be available to you for lost wage replacement.
The first option is a first-party insurance claim. Kentucky is a choice no-fault insurance state, meaning that you can recover financial benefits from your own auto insurance provider, regardless of fault. You will have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance on your policy to pay for your own medical bills, lost wages and other losses. The compensation that you can earn with a first-party claim may cover:
- Lost hourly wages or salary
- Tips, commission or bonuses
- Retirement and 401(k) contributions
- Insurance benefits
- Vacation or sick days you had to take
- Overtime opportunities
- Lost capacity to earn in the future
If the other driver is at fault for your motorcycle collision, however, you may also have the ability to file a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit. A motorcycle accident lawsuit could result in greater financial compensation for significant losses, including lost wages and disability costs. However, you or your attorney must prove that the defendant is at fault for your accident before you can recover financially.
What Is Lost Capacity to Earn?
Lost capacity to earn is not the same as lost wages. It refers to the future foreseeable wages lost due to a temporary or permanent disability. This financial award could pay for the difference between what you used to make before your accident and what you are capable of making now. If you cannot work at all, you could recover financial compensation for the full value of what you reasonably would have made throughout your lifetime had the crash not occurred.
Calculating your lost capacity to earn takes an analysis of the amount of money that you made before your motorcycle accident, your physical capabilities and extent of your injuries, the amount you are able to make now (if any), your age and overall health, and many other factors. It often takes a professional such as a financial expert or forensic accountant to calculate lost future capacity to earn after a serious accident and debilitating injury.
Government Disability Benefits
You may also be able to secure financial benefits to make up for your inability to work through a government-sponsored program such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can apply for these types of benefits online with assistance from a lawyer. It is possible to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration in addition to compensation from a motorcycle accident settlement or judgment award in Kentucky.
Consult With a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident and cannot return to work, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your future. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery can carefully review your case and give you legal advice about how to move forward with an insurance claim or lawsuit. We understand the stress and financial strain that can come with the inability to work after a motorcycle crash. We will do what we can to give your family answers, justice, financial compensation and peace of mind.