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I have been out of work for a long time, and now I have been a victim of a motorcycle accident. Will my unemployment affect the settlement I will get?

Probably. Of course, every person’s situation is different, and your Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm is the best resource you have to advise you on the specifics of your case. But we can discuss some general issues that may arise in a case where an unemployed accident victim seeks compensation for his injuries.

This is a more common situation than you might realize. Unemployment has been a serious and persistent problem across the United States since December 2007, the start of what some economists call “The Great Recession.” In recent months, work opportunities have expanded, but not enough to rehire all the people who lost jobs. Consequently, America has a far larger number of long-term unemployed persons than usual. This is especially true in the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, where recovery from the recession has been slow.

Here’s how your long-term unemployment may affect your eventual motorcycle injury settlement:

  • No income means no compensation from lost wages. A personal injury lawsuit will usually ask for money to compensate the victim for his time away from work. That doesn’t apply in the case of someone with no job.
  • Your expected lifetime earnings also go down. In the case where an accident victim has been partly or totally disabled, a lawsuit typically asks for compensation for the loss of lifetime earnings. If you’re unemployed, your earnings potential will be given less weight, and your personal injury settlement will probably be smaller.
  • Your loss of unemployment benefits may increase your settlement. If you are even temporarily unable to look for work due to your injuries, you cannot certify that you are ready to accept work, and thus you cannot claim unemployment benefits that you might have been receiving. Because this loss of benefits flows directly from your accident, your Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm should work to recover those lost benefits from the insurance company.
  • Your lost opportunities for professional development may increase your settlement. As a result of your injury, you may be unable to participate in schooling or job-training programs that would eventually have set you on the path to a higher income. Your case is further strengthened if you can prove you were enrolled — or planning to enroll — in an educational program. Your settlement may be increased both by any nonrefundable tuition you have paid plus the loss of your future expanded earnings potential.

A good Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm considers all the avenues to getting the maximum compensation for its client. At Hupy and Abraham, we make every effort to seek recovery for our clients for the costs of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, you need an Appleton motorcycle accident attorney. Call us toll-free at 800-800-5678 for a FREE, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Even if you don’t hire us, we would like to send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.