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Recovering lost wages from non-injury accident?

by James

I was in SLOW traffic (2mph) and a bus hit me from the rear, as it turned into my lane.

The rear of my car was bent up, but the car was still drive able. The bus had no damage.

The police report states that the cause of the accident was the Bus driver making an unsafe lane change.

Their insurance has been moving as slowly as possible, in hopes of forcing me to accept only a partial settlement. My insurance is liability only, so I’m on my own.

Two months after the accident, I was being told that he still hadn't received a copy of the police report, or a report from his appraiser. But stated he’d offer me 50% of HIS appraisal – once he has it.

I declined, and about a week later….. the rear bumper had come loose to the point that I had to remove it, before it fell off and caused another accident.
Up till that point, it was hanging in front of the exhaust and diverting the fumes to the interior of the car. Resulting in MAJOR headaches from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, every day I drove the car. (My 8yr old daughter wasn't allowed in the car)
Immediately after removing the bumper, I was stopped by the police who threatened to tow the car if I continued to drive the car without a rear bumper. Because it was an “unsafe vehicle”

So it was parked, And I had to quit going to work. (only car) I contacted the insurance who refused to put me into a rental car until the repairs were performed, and stuck to his 50% offer.

I’ve now been off work for 22 Days, and missed out on over $2,000.00 in wages – because I cannot make it to work. (My job requires a vehicle and can involve several locations on any day, begins before public transportation starts, and I usually do not work with anyone. )
I do not have a major credit card, so renting a car without a large deposit is out of the question. Especially since I haven't had any income for over a month.

I have now been placed on leave, and if I do not return to work in the next 2 weeks, I’ll loose my job.

The insurance adjuster has increased his offer to $3601.48 which he says is 80% of the damages.
The estimate I had done was $4809.66
He is also stating that lost wages are only paid if there were injuries involved.

I’ve just prepared a letter to him declining all offers that are less than 100% of the damages, and/or do not include all lost wages up till that point.

I also stated that if I did accept anything less, that I WOULD NOT sign any type of release or waiver, because I would be suing the driver and owner of the bus for the balance of the claim up till that point.

#1. Am I taking the right stand here?.
#2. If I loose my job because of this, can I sue for future lost wages

Its now been 100 days since the accident.

And there are LOTS of other issues resulting because of this.
Like – I missed a court appearance – because I had no car, no money for a cab, and 15miles is too far for my daughter to walk with me.

SO, I think I have a warrant, and I’m pretty sure that my license was suspended because of the failure to appear.
(A new date has been set, but it’s 2 weeks from now. So I have to stay indoors or risk being arrested.)

And I have no idea how I’ll make it to court on that date. – Sucks to be me.



Hello James:

I am sorry to hear you are in this situation. It is very unlikely that you prevail in any of your claims. Your injuries, loss wages, pain and suffering, and legal issues, were caused for your inability to “mitigate” your damages. Everyone has a duty to mitigate damages even if insurance companies are not paying. Read more here.

If you could not get to work because of the car accident, then you had to find some other way to get to work. Insurance companies know that they have no duty to your employer or to you for that matter.

Insurance investigations can take over 30 days until they clear. Unfortunately, this means that you have to (as in must) find other ways to get to work and provide for your family and expenses.

The insurance company has an obligation to reimburse you for the reasonable expenses you had. However, if you fail to go to work, go to court, and move forward, the insurance company will probably decline any payment. A court of law will probably side with the insurance company.

This is particularly the case if you the accident was a 2 mph impact. They owe you for any injuries they directly cause (not carbon monoxide damage, you choose to drive the car in that condition), damages like “you hit your head, or lower back injuries due to the impact). In a “2 mph” impact, those injuries are unlikely. The insurance company will probably be willing to put experts as a defense.

You best bet here is to talk to an attorney and see what you can do. Maybe the attorney knows of a law in your state that could give you coverage for the things you are claiming (most states do not).

To find an attorney, visit:

Good Luck

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