Car accidents frequently upend the lives of survivors, especially if an injury requires weeks or more of recovery time. You may find yourself having no choice but to miss work, but your bills won’t take a vacation just because you aren’t able to head back to your job quite yet. That means you could very quickly burn through all your hard-earned benefits, such as paid personal or sick days.
How Is PTO Is Handled in Virginia Car Accident Case?
After the crash, you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your damages through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit, and part of those damages are lost wages. Your overall income isn’t just the amount you take home with each paycheck, however. It also includes those sick days, vacation time, or paid time off (PTO) hours included as part of your employment that you had to use up while recovering.
You wouldn’t have needed to go through those benefits if you hadn’t been hurt in a car wreck, which makes the negligent party liable for their loss. That means you can potentially recover compensation for PTO used after the crash if you had to:
- Stay in the hospital
- Recover at home
- Take days off to deal with insurance or talk to your attorney
- Travel to seek medical treatment or rehabilitative therapy at a different location
Unfortunately, those PTO days will no longer be available as a backup if you get sick or have to take additional time off in the future for some other emergency. While an insurance settlement or court judgement won’t return used hours to your PTO bank at work, they can include a dollar amount reflecting the lost PTO. That amount is calculated at the same rate as whatever you would have earned if you had worked those days.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, it’s unlikely all of your available PTO will even cover the actual timeframe necessary to physically recover. It’s entirely possible you may have to simply take off unpaid days or even lose your job entirely while dealing with the accident’s physical toll. That’s why full and fair calculations of your lost income should include:
- Any employment benefits you couldn’t utilize or perks you lost out on while recovering
- Hourly wages from missed days
- Overtime you would have typically worked
- Salaried pay
- Scheduled raises you missed out on
- Self-employment income
- Vacation days, paid sick leave, PTO, etc.