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Am I Entitled To Collect Lost Wages For Time Spent Going To The Physical Therapist After An Accident?

In the wake of an automobile accident or another personal injury-causing event the classic, paradigmatic, wage loss claim is one in which a doctor takes an individual out of work, i.e. issues a “disability slip”. The injured person, in accord with those instructions, misses a period of time so that they can recuperate from their injuries. In this circumstance the entitlement to compensation for lost wages during this period is manifest. 

There are arguments that an individual, who can physically work, but who has to miss time at work so that they can attend needed therapy visits, should also be compensated for their lost time.

An injured person who needs therapy, but also needs their income from work is often confronted with a dilemma. If the individual elect to forgo therapy, so as to earn income needed for his or her family, they create a substantial risk that a probing and inquisitive district court judge may look at the failure to attend ordered therapy visits and determine that the individual was not hurt- for if they were, surely they would have attended physical therapy as directed. On the other hand, if an individual elects to attend therapy as directed by a doctor, but misses several hours a week at work to do so, that lost income can have a substantial impact on family finances.

It seems equitable that a person injured through no fault of their own should not be placed in a worse financial position simply because they've been ordered to attend physical therapy, and indeed does so in order to heal.

  • Many small employers are not able to accommodate time off for the purposes of physical therapy visits.

  • Although some employers may offer sick days or paid leave-not all do.

  • Although some physical therapy providers have after-hours services -not all do.

  • Although some employers may have the flexibility to allow their employees to come in early so that they may leave early for a medical appointment or work through lunch- not all do.

Insurance companies aggressively and jealously defend claims.  In an appropriate case, the argument that wages lost for attending therapy may be made. You should discuss the application of those principles to the facts of your case with your lawyer. I extend a complimentary case analysis and opinion about their legal case to those that consult with me. Please call me today to arrange a meeting. 

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