Can I claim loss of vacation days?

by Jules

I was injured in an auto accident. The other driver has taken 100% responsibility for running a red light and colliding with my car at an intersection. I was in the midst of some scheduled vacation days when this happened, so I did not miss work, but I missed the enjoyment of my vacation days.

Can I submit a request for compensation for loss of enjoyment of my vacation days, since I was recovering from my injuries during my scheduled vacation? How do I approach this with the at-fault driver's insurance company? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I claim loss of vacation days?":

Jules (Washington):

Insurance companies typically don't pay compensation for "loss of enjoyment." Instead you would be better off asking the insurance to pay additional compensation for the pain and suffering you endured. That pain and suffering directly caused you to lose the enjoyment of your vacation days.

Pain and suffering compensation is a category insurance companies recognize and can legitimately rely upon when paying third party injury claims.

From the facts you present, you did sustain injuries. For us, the severity of those injuries is unknown. However, in most cases where injuries are sustained as a result of another driver's negligence, insurance companies will pay medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and an additional amount for pain and suffering. These are generally referred to as Personal Injury Damages.

Because pain and suffering is unique to every individual, and subjective in its effect, there doesn't exist a formula you can rely upon when determining the amount of compensation you believe is fair.

Insurance companies however, have sophisticated software to calculate a general amount of pain and suffering traditionally paid in similar types of accidents and related injuries.

If your injuries are soft tissue, including sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, ligaments, minor burns, bruises, and similar injuries, it would not be inappropriate to demand the insurance company pay you three times the amount of your medical bills, plus lost wages and expenses.

That amount is meant to cover your medical bills and pain and suffering. If you are unable to convince the insurance company to pay the multiple of 3, you can negotiate downward. It's unlikely you will get 3x medicals, but it's a good place to start negotiations.

In the event your injuries are more serious, such as fractures, serious burns, scarring, etc., you would be best served by seeking the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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