Nothing makes you understand the role of lost wages like getting into a car accident in Georgia while you’re driving to work. You may already be cutting it close — most people do — and you need to get there to clock in without a penalty. Then you get blindsided at a stop sign, and your car is totaled.

While your first thought is going to be to make sure that no one is hurt, followed by an appraisal of the expensive damage to your car, the fact that you’re now late for work is quickly going to hit. If you are paid hourly, you may start instantly losing money as soon as the crash happens, even if it wasn’t your fault.

Moreover, if the car is really totaled, it could be some time before you can get to work at all. Not all insurance policies provide a rental car after a wreck. If you don’t have a vehicle you can borrow, you could end up missing days or even a week of work.

If this happens, it’s important to understand that these losses are all connected to the accident. They have to be factored in right along with your other losses — namely, the car itself. The longer you are out of work, the more money is being taken away from you — money that you expected to make and were probably counting on to pay the bills.

As you seek compensation for the cost of the crash, be sure that you factor in your lost wages, as you may be able to get that money back from the person who caused the accident as part of the overall compensation package.

Source: CarInsurance.com, “Auto accidents and lost wages,” accessed Sep. 18, 2015