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Disabled Due to an Auto Accident Lead to Job Loss

Steven Matz
May 19, 2023 | Car Accident

A car accident caused by another motorist can change your life in an instant. You may suffer intense pain, lose mobility, or require ongoing medical treatment in your recovery. During this period, your medical expenses will likely accumulate, and you might not be able to go to work.

When you get into a car accident that leaves you injured, you do not immediately think about the lasting effects. However, as time continues and your injury stays consistent, you may begin to wonder about the status of your job. What happens if your employer decides to fire you? 

Are you injured and now jobless due to your disability? Contact the Michigan car accident attorneys at Matz Injury Law at 1-866-22Not33 for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers can look at your situation, deal with communications with the auto insurance company, and explore all viable legal options allowed under Michigan law.

What Happens if My Employer Fills My Position While I Am on Auto-Related Disability?

Lawyer sitting down talking to clients

Suppose you suffer a serious injury in a motor vehicle collision in Michigan. You are taken off work by doctor’s orders for a period of time so you can recover and then are released to return to work. Unfortunately, while you were gone, your employer needed someone to do your job, so the employer hired someone else. You are “terminated” (fired).

Let’s keep it simple and say that you have no union or any contract of employment to rely upon. Also, you have to be let go because you were unable to come to work due to injuries, not for doing something improper at work. Are you in a bind now, having no job but also not being considered disabled from your old job by your doctor?

Not necessarily. Court cases that have looked at this situation say you can continue to apply for no-fault work loss from your car insurance until you find another job. Of course, you have to make a reasonable effort to secure a new job, and your no-fault adjuster might even assign a “job coach” to help you look for work (and to make sure you are really trying to find work).

Don’t forget that a different way you could go in this situation would be to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits. Since you consider yourself able to work in the example above, and your doctor has approved your return to work, you would satisfy the condition of being willing and able to accept a job, which is part of being eligible for unemployment benefits. There are other rules that apply.

Family Medical Leave Act

At the time of the accident and in the aftermath, you may not realize that you may qualify for job protection under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In 1993, the U.S. government signed the FMLA into law. This legislation provides eligible employees of covered employers to have job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons with the continuation of their health insurance coverage and medical benefits.

Most people are covered if they work for a federal, state, or local government agency. Other employers that are required to offer FMLA coverage for a sick or injured person (or their family member) include schools and private sector employers with more than 50 employees.

This leave is unpaid, but it does ensure your job and insurance benefits will not be lost during your recovery for 12 weeks if your employer is required to participate. As an accident victim of a motor vehicle accident, you are entitled to this leave if you have a serious health condition that prevents you from doing your job. 

Can You Sue for Lost Wages if You Get in a Car Accident in Michigan?

Your no-fault insurance will cover lost wage benefits after suffering a personal injury in a car accident. If your injuries extend past the coverage of the no-fault benefits, you can sue the negligent at-fault driver who caused the car crash.

How Much Will No-Fault Insurance in Michigan Pay for Wage Loss?

After sustaining a car accident injury, your no-fault auto insurance policy will only cover up to 85 percent of lost wages under Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws. Under fault law, this holds true whether you were to blame or not. As of October 2022, there is a $6,615 monthly maximum reimbursement for lost wages.

What if the Car Accident Occurred While I Was Working? 

If you were on the clock and within the scope of your employment when you sustained an injury, you could file for workers’ compensation benefits. This money can help you pay for your medical bills and replace some of your lost income. Speak to an experienced Michigan workers’ compensation law firm because filing for injured workers’ comp benefits is complex.

Worried About Your Options After an Injury?

lawyer having a client sign paperwork

If you or a family member find yourself in a situation where your employer moves on while you are off on medical leave following a car accident, you should talk to a lawyer who understands this problem. Matz Injury Law has extensive experience in Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws, wage loss benefits, replacement services, and other courses of action you can take in the event you suffer a loss of income.

A transparent attorney-client relationship is very important to us, and our personal injury lawyers go the extra mile to provide you with sound legal advice about your accident claim. Matz Injury Law serves cities across the state of Michigan.

To learn more about how we can help you recoup your lost income and obtain medical benefits either through your insurance policy or by pursuing a lawsuit, contact Matz Injury Law at 1-866-22Not33 or fill out our online contact form.

steven matz headshot

Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.