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Receiving compensation after a bad car accident in California

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Being involved in a car accident can have significant consequences, particularly if it results in a totaled car. In California, those affected by such incidents often wonder if they can claim lost wages due to the inability to carry out their job without their vehicle.

Understanding how California’s insurance and liability laws work can provide clarity on this issue. With the right knowledge, individuals can navigate through the aftermath of such an accident, knowing their rights and the compensation they may be eligible for.

Assessing the total loss

When professionals determine that a car is a total loss, the insurance company determines that repairing the car would cost more than the actual cash value of the vehicle before the accident. The insurance company compensates for the market value of the vehicle, which may not cover the replacement cost of a similar car.

Claiming lost wages

The question of lost wages is more complex. If the car accident caused physical injuries that prevent an individual from working, they could claim lost wages under a bodily injury claim. However, claiming lost wages because one cannot use the vehicle for work might not fall under typical car insurance coverage.

Exploring the coverage options

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage can help cover lost wages due to an accident. PIP is a type of car insurance coverage that pays for certain expenses regardless of who caused the accident. Though PIP is not mandatory in California, some drivers choose to add it to their policy for additional protection. If the individual has PIP coverage, it may cover a portion of lost wages, subject to the terms of the policy.

Navigating uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can also come into play if the driver at fault for the accident does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. If the individual has this coverage, it could compensate for lost income.

Exploring legal options

In some cases, the individual may be able to sue the at-fault driver for lost income, especially if the accident affected their ability to earn a living. However, success in these claims often depends on the circumstances of the accident and the individual’s ability to prove the loss of income.

While insurance might not typically cover lost wages, there are exceptions and additional coverages that may apply. Understanding these options can help ensure individuals receive the compensation they deserve. It is also important to consult with a knowledgeable professional to discuss specific circumstances and options.