A car crash is a disorienting experience and leaves you with a lot of questions. Few drivers are ready to deal with the immediate issues at the scene, and even fewer are prepared to face these unexpected obstacles after the crash. The good news is, we’re here to help.
Loss of Use
If your vehicle is damaged in the crash, you’ll likely need to take it to the shop and have it repaired. Restoration may take days or weeks based on the extent of damage and may leave you without a means of transportation. What you may not realize is that you can be compensated for the time your vehicle is in the shop. This is called “loss of use.”
To make a loss of use claim, you must specifically file a claim while your vehicle is being repaired. Under Virginia code 8.01-66, you are entitled to a rental car comparable to your own vehicle. A loss of use claim is separate from your normal car accident claim and can’t be used against you when pursuing the damages you’re entitled to. This can be invaluable in helping you return to normal after a crash, especially if your vehicle suffered serious damage and requires weeks or even months of repairs.
When you’re in a car crash and require repairs, you’re typically entitled to additional funds to cover a rental car that’s comparable to your own. For example, if your minivan was damaged and is in the shop, you should get a rental car that can seat the same number of people.
Remember that your insurance typically entitles you to a rental car whenever you are seeking compensation for damage or destruction to your current vehicle. If the insurance company does not cover your rental car, you should contact an attorney immediately. If the insurance company wrongfully doesn’t cover your rental car, you may be able to recover some compensation or double the cost of the rental, later on.
If you suffered severe injuries in a car crash and you’re unable to work for several days or a few weeks, you may find yourself using all of your sick leave and vacation time. When filing your car accident claim, you can seek compensation for the time you’re unable to work, even if you used your paid time off.
Be sure to notify your employer about your injuries as soon as possible and be ready to provide a doctor’s note stating when you can return to work. If your injuries will leave you unable to work for several weeks, you should consider contacting an attorney to help manage your income and time off.
While unable to work, you may be entitled to lost wages. That means if you’re out of work for two months, you would receive compensation equal to two month’s pay. The exact amount you’re entitled to can vary and may consider your bonuses, workplace events, or even tips.
If you suffered injuries that would permanently impact your ability to perform the same job, such as PTSD or a traumatic brain injury, you may be able to recover compensation for reduced earnings potential. However, determining the exact amount of lost wages can be very difficult, which is why you should consider speaking to an attorney before filing your claim.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car crash, you might have a case. If you’d like to discuss your case with an experienced Virginia car accident attorney from Portner & Shure, P.A., don’t hesitate to call (855) 954-4141 or send us an email.