The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires all Pennsylvania automobile insurance policies to offer as an option, Income Loss Benefits (lost wages) for motor vehicle accidents taking place in Pennsylvania. However, because this is optional coverage and not required coverage, you may or may not be eligible for this coverage. Also, please note that Income Loss Benefits are not based on who negligently caused the motor vehicle accident. Income Loss Benefits are payable no matter who caused the accident. Assuming Income Loss Benefits are available in one or more of the automobile insurance policies applicable to the motor vehicle accident, you must first identify which automobile insurance policy is responsible to pay your Income Loss Benefit claim.
If you are eligible to receive Income Loss Benefits under one of the automobile insurance policies applicable to the collision, then that policy of automobile insurance will pay you eighty percent (80%) of your actual loss of gross income, pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. § 1712(2)(i) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. In addition, most automobile insurance policies also put a monthly cap on the amount of Income Loss Benefits it will pay. A typical policy will provide a maximum of $5,000 in Income Loss Benefits, with the maximum to be paid each month being $1,000. You must check the language of the automobile insurance policy in question.
Because the Income Loss Benefit is an option and not a requirement for automobile insurance policies issued in Pennsylvania, it is possible that you will not be able to recover Income Loss Benefits under the above automobile insurance policies. If you either are not eligible to recover Income Loss Benefits under the above automobile insurance policies or if you have recovered Income Loss Benefits and have exhausted the Income Loss Benefits on the applicable policy but still have additional lost income, then under either situation you will still be able to seek your "excess lost wage claim" against the liability coverage of the automobile insurance policy that insures the negligent driver that caused the collision. Here, you must prove negligence to recover your excess lost wages (as well as your claims for personal injuries and excess
medical bills). Here, the liability automobile insurance policy of the negligent driver will pay you one hundred percent (100%) of your actual loss of gross income.
A knowledgeable Philadelphia personal injury attorney will assist you in making sure that you are fully compensated for your lost wages, medical bills and bodily injuries arising out of a motor vehicle collision.