Do I need a doctor's note to get compensated for lost wages?

by Anonymous
(South Carolina)

I was rear ended on an interstate in SC. The driver that hit me was at fault and received a ticket. I didn't request an ambulance, but my husband took my daughter and I to the ER a few hours later. She is OK, they checked for a possible concussion and they said she would probably be sore and have a headache, and to keep an eye on her.

I on the other hand was diagnosed with a neck and back sprain. I stayed home the day after the accident and the next day. I had an appointment with my regular pain management doc on that Wednesday. My leg was weak, my arm on the same side was weak, and I was having trouble keeping my balance because my leg felt funny.

He gave me a note for that day and the next. He said to come back if things got worse or go back to the ER if the office was closed. The next day things got worse. I was having pain/spasms running from my lower back down my leg. The office was closed so I went to the ER. They diagnosed it as sciatica brought on by the accident.

The doctor told me to stay home until that Monday. I went back to work on Monday in considerable pain. My boss decided I was in no shape to work and sent me home. I tried to return the next day and worked about 5 hours.

My boss was afraid I would fall because of my balance being off. She decided that I should stay out the rest of the week. I don't have a note covering me for being out, but my boss doesn't' think I can perform my job duties safely. I teach four year old kindergarten.

If I have no doctor's note for the days I'm missing, will I still get reimbursed for lost wages when we settle with the other guy's insurance company? How does that work? Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Do I need a doctor's note to get compensated for lost wages?":

Anonymous (South Carolina):

Having a doctor's note should not be a requirement for being reimbursed for your lost wages. Your boss sent you home for what appeared to be legitimate reasons. You would likely not have been sent home by your boss, but for the car accident.

As result, the insurance company may only require you to produce a statement from your doctor and boss confirming the days you missed from work, and the amount of wages you lost as a result.

From the facts you present, there does not seem to be any question of liability. The driver behind you was clearly liable for the accident and the damages resulting from it. All you need is the truth. You were injured, and you have a right to be compensated for your injuries.

Seek a letter from your boss on school letterhead. The letter should confirm the days you missed as a result of the accident, and the amount of wages you lost as well. You will also need copies of your medical records and bills. Be sure to submit those items to the insurance company claims adjuster. Doing so should expedite your claim.

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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