I Was Hurt By an 18 Wheeler – Do They Pay My Lost Wages?

Last updated on: August 7, 2019


Regular car accidents can be catastrophic, so naturally, the degree of risk is much larger when contemplating the idea of an accident with a large 18-wheeler commercial truck.  Due to an 18-wheelers’ size and power, they have the ability to cause severe property damage and even more severe bodily injuries.  Because the injuries caused by 18-wheelers can be so severe, victims of an 18-wheeler accident oftentimes must miss work in order to recover and seek medical treatment.  In this scenario, the injured party may be able to state a claim for lost wages as the result of the accident.

The legal process can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially for an individual who has just experienced an 18-wheeler accident resulting in injury.  The best way to make sure you are being treated fairly, don’t get taken advantage of, and seek the compensation you deserve after an 18-wheeler accident is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who has dealt with 18-wheeler accidents and lost wage claims.

If you or a loved one has missed work as the result of an injury caused by an 18-wheeler, contact Zinda Law Group at (512) 246-2224 for a 100% free case evaluation with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer today.

What are Lost Wages?

Sometimes, after an individual has been injured in an accident, they must miss work in order to recover from their injuries, go to doctor’s appointments, and receive medical treatment.  In general, you are entitled to be reimbursed from the party responsible for your injuries for any wages you lost as the result of your accident.  This right applies no matter what type of job you have and no matter how you get paid (paid by the hour, paid bi-weekly, salaried).

How to Make a Lost Wages Claim?

In order to be reimbursed for the wages you lost as the result of an 18-wheeler accident, you need file a lost wage claim.  The timing of your claim is important.  Typically, you should wait until you have completed the course of your medical treatment to file a claim for lost wages.  This is because if you file a claim too early, you won’t be reimbursed for any future days missed of work for medical reasons related to your accident.

When filing a claim for lost wages one of the first steps you may take is to have your boss, human resources, or another work authority sign off on the number of days you missed and what you would have been paid on those days.  Ultimately, your lost wage claim won’t hold up if you cannot have someone from your place of employment verify this information.

The next step is to submit your claim and its accompanying information to the insurance company.  The insurance company may ask you to provide further information and your attorney may advise you on further action. 

Who Covers Lost Wages?

If you have been in an accident with an 18-wheeler that was not your fault, you may be able to recover lost wages from the responsible party.  These lost wages may be covered by the responsible party’s insurance or they may choose to pay for it out of pocket depending on the amount of money that is owed and their insurance coverage.

In the case of an 18-wheeler accident, the blame for the collision may be placed upon the driver or the commercial trucking company.  Whoever is responsible will likely be held accountable to pay for your lost wages.

How to Calculate Lost Wages?

Here are the steps you should take in order to determine the amount of lost wages you are owed as the result of an 18-wheeler collision:

1. Determine how many hours you missed from work

This step may seem obvious, but it is important to emphasize because it is a crucial component to making a claim for lost wages.  It is impossible to know what you are owed if you don’t know how many hours you missed.  If you work regular hours on a consistent basis, this will be easy.  If your hours change often try to obtain official documentation of your work absences to determine the hours you missed or try to determine an average based off of a 6-month period.

2. Determine your pay rate per hour

For some this step is easy.  If you are paid by the hour then it is easy to determine your hourly rate.  However, if you are paid a yearly salary or something similar, simply take your salary and divide it by the number of hours you work in a year or in a month on average in order to determine your hourly rate.

3. Determine a total amount

  In order to calculate how much you are owed in lost wages simply take the number of hours you missed from work and multiply it by your hourly pay rate.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Although you may be initially thinking that you will contact an attorney to take your collision case to a courtroom, most 18-wheeler and other automobile collisions are handled between insurance companies, even when attorneys are involved.  Thus, it is important to know how to deal with insurance companies so that your interests are protected and you are receiving the treatment and seeking the compensation you deserve after a collision with an 18-wheeler. 

After an accident, notify your insurance company and the insurance company of the responsible party.  Once you file a claim amongst the insurance providers, the respective insurance companies will likely launch an investigation into the collision depending on who is at fault and who is being asked to pay.  This investigation will include speaking with you, looking into your medical history, medical treatment after the collision, sending an adjuster to evaluate the property damage of your vehicle, etc.  After this investigation, it is likely that the insurance company of the responsible party will send you an offer of settlement to try and resolve the case without having a trial.

Insurance companies can be difficult and their process is complicated.  Moreover, they often try to take-advantage of vulnerable collision victims by extending them low-ball initial settlement offers.  The best way to ensure you are being treated fairly and that you are seeking every bit of compensation you may be entitled to is to hire an attorney.  Our lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you fight your claim.

What if Another Vehicle caused the Accident?

If another vehicle caused the accident, they may be held liable for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering, etc.  Another vehicle is responsible when they have caused you injury due to their negligence.  In order to prove they were negligent, you will need to show that they owed you a duty and breached that duty, which caused you injury.  Every motor vehicle and commercial truck owes a duty to other motorists to operate their vehicles in a safe and lawful manner.

How is Compensation Calculated?

There are two types of compensation a person may be eligible to receive for a personal injury claim.  These two types are economic compensation and non-economic compensation. 

  • Economic compensation is for medical bills and lost wages.  They are referred to as “economic” because you can easily quantify them. 
  • Non-economic damages are compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other emotionally based damages. 

In order to calculate the amount you are owed, insurance adjusters will typically take your medical bills, which they refer to as “special damages” and multiple it by a number anywhere between 1 and 5 to represent your pain and suffering, which they refer to as “general damages”.  The multiplier is based upon the severity of your injuries. 

How to Make an 18-Wheeler Accident Claim

The following steps are the process you should likely follow in order to make your 18-wheeler accident claim:

  • Seek medical attention immediately to deal with any injuries, develop a treatment plan, and create an official record of your injuries.
  • Call the police if able in order to file an official police report of the incident.
  • Document the scene with pictures.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim.

Legal Time Limits

Every legal claim has a time limit on it.  This is known as the statute of limitations.  The statute of limitations is the legally permissible time period in which you are allowed to bring a claim for compensation.  Once the allotted time period has passed, you will no longer be able to recover.  For example, a lot of states have a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims.  In that scenario, you have two years from the date you were injured in order to sue.

Each state has a different statute of limitations on different types of legal claims.  Therefore, it is important you check with an attorney to see what legal time limits your state has imposed on the type of claim you are seeking to file.


A semi-truck accident can leave you in a financial bind. Your injury could leave you unable to work and result in lost wages. Medical bills or rehabilitation costs can add up. If the accident results in the death of a passenger, psychological distress can be devastating. The stress of dealing with all of these problems can take a toll.

Our truck injury lawyers can investigate your accident and determine if it was due to the disregard of regulations, truck driver error, or if the trucking company is at fault. If you were harmed due to some else’s negligence, we will fight aggressively to help get you the compensation you deserve.

If you have been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, consult with a truck injury attorney at Zinda Law Group today. Our team of experienced truck accident lawyers can advise and handle the legal work for you so you can focus on what is most important: your recovery.

Call (888) 234-7042 or chat us today to set up your free attorney consultation.

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