Claiming lost wages under PIP for staying with wife after an accident?

by Dane

My wife, my 2 kids, and I were rear-ended on a Sunday evening in July about 2 hours from home. My wife, who was pregnant, began having serious contractions. The ambulance took her to the hospital, and she was there for 24 hours under constant monitoring, until the contractions subsided.

I was initially admitted and questioned, but I would have had to have foregone staying with my wife and kids to be examined by a doctor; additionally my priority was deemed lower than others with life-threatening conditions in the waiting area, so I was told I may be waiting several hours apart from my wife, while in the waiting room.

I removed myself from the waiting room to tend to my wife, since she was in a more serious condition, and at some point, I would have been leaving the kids un-attended while we were both being examined/treated.

She was discharged on Monday evening, and we drove the 2 hours home. I went in first thing Tuesday for my examination, and I filled my prescription and tended to some of my wife's other medical needs. Since she is a stay-at-home mother and she was not able to care for the children, I stayed home for the remainder of Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I returned to work, despite my objections that my wife was still not physically able to care for our 2 older children. Am I entitled to a lost wages claim for Monday and Tuesday? What other specific claims can I make for compensation? Thank you for any supplementary information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Claiming lost wages under PIP for staying with wife after an accident?":

Dane (Maryland):

Hopefully at the time of the collision the police were dispatched. If so, a police report was generated. Be sure to contact the police department and request a copy of the report. They will make one available to you at a nominal cost.

In the report will be a description of the collision, the names of the parties involved, their contact information, and the insurance company information. If the police issued a citation to the driver, that will also be noted.

If you had the presence of mind, you may have used your cell phone to take photographs and video of the accident scene. Accident photos and video can be excellent proof of negligence. They can show the position of the cars in relation to each other, weather conditions, and even the demeanor of the drivers involved, especially if they are unsteady due to intoxication.

Read more about taking car accident photos and collecting evidence.

Contact the driver’s insurance company and tell them you want to file an injury claim. While the implication of your question is whether or not you have a right to compensation for your lost wages, we will assume you are also inquiring on behalf of your wife.

At a minimum, your wife has a right to reimbursement for her medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and wages she may have lost on Monday, and for any other days she may have to miss while seeking treatment or recovering. She also had a right to some amount of compensation for the pain and suffering she sustained.

You can also make a claim for the two days you missed from work and for your medications. This is a legitimate loss you sustained as a direct and proximate result of the at-fault driver's negligence.

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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