After getting injured in an auto accident, it is not uncommon to consider accepting a quick settlement offer from the responsible party's insurance company. The idea can be even more appealing if your finances have become tight and you were out of work due to the accident. Long and drawn-out injury claims aren't ideal when you have living expenses and medical bills to pay for. While it can be tempting to accept the offer to settle, you may not be getting the compensation you deserve, and physical problems may manifest later in time. Once you accept a settlement offer, you are generally unable to reopen the case to get more. However, there are limited circumstances when that claim may be reopened after it has been settled.
If you have missed days, weeks or even months of work due to an injury caused by a recent car accident, you are entitled to be repaid for your losses by the State of Iowa. Lost wages are also available for those who have had to cut back their hours or take a lower-paying job because of the injuries they have sustained. Each individual case is different and the amount of lost wages you receive will be determined by the amount of money you missed out on between the time of your accident and the settlement.
Aside from speaking with the insurance companies of those involved in the accident, you will have to speak with Disability Determination Services (DDS). It is important that you keep as much paperwork as possible that proves you were injured and unable to work. A doctor’s note is one of the best ways to prove that you were unable to work, and a doctor typically puts the suggested time you should miss into your medical records. You should also speak with your employer to have them provide you with the tax returns, pay stubs and proof of missed work that will be necessary when you speak with DDS.
It is also important to note that there is a limited amount of time to receive compensation for lost wages in Iowa. This time limit, or statute of limitations, is typically two years from the date of your accident. We strongly encourage you to settle your case in this time frame or you may lose out on what is rightfully yours.
If you’re in need of a trusted car accident lawyer, we are the team to call for information on lost wages and more in the Des Moines, IA area. We ask that you give us a call at your earliest convenience, and we will do everything in our power to make sure you get what you rightfully deserve!