Visitor Question

Sideswiped Nanny!

Submitted By: Anna (Livingston, New Jersey)

I was at a red light behind maybe 10 cars, and as the light turned green I began to follow the car ahead of me when, out of nowhere a woman turning from a side street (that had a stop sign) hit me on my driver side. The dent and scrapes extend from the middle of the car (I have a coupe) to the bumper.

Obviously she is 100% at fault. Immediately after the accident my wrist, neck/trap and shoulder began to hurt. I cannot extend my neck to the left past a certain point. I have a couple questions:

  1. I work as “an off the books” nanny, can I still sue for lost wages?
  2. Should I go to an emergency room or urgent care center tomorrow to be checked out (with maximizing settlement payout in mind)?

Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anna,

The first problem you have is your mindset. It appears your exclusive goal is to see how much money you can obtain from the insurance company, and what you have to do to “maximize (your) settlement payout.” That is clearly the wrong attitude. Here at our goal is not to advise people how to maximize their settlement merely for the purpose of pecuniary gain.

Before going any further, seek the medical attention you need. Your health comes first. Once you have obtained the medical treatment you require you can consider negotiating a fair settlement.

However, you will likely have difficulty negotiating a settlement with the driver’s insurance company which includes compensation for your lost wages. The insurance company claims adjuster will need verification of your lost wages.

If you have been paid “off the books” and have not been paying federal income tax, any discussion of lost wages may expose you to penalties from the IRS.

Moreover, without proof in the form of income tax returns, the insurance company claims adjuster may not offer any amount of compensation for your lost wages. You can try to use a letter from your employer detailing your lost pay, but there’s no guarantee the adjuster will accept it without substantiation.

Learn more here: Increase Your Pain and Suffering Award

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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