Reimbursement for "Under The Table" Wage Loss

michigan wage loss case law

Michigan's No-Fault laws are constantly changing and evolving.  While we strongly suggest consulting with a specialized Michigan personal injury lawyer, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is dedicated to providing Michigan citizens with access to helpful Michigan case law to keep drivers informed of their legal rights. 

This information is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Contact our firm at 844.464.3476 to discuss these questions or your unique case for free.  

Can I make a claim for lost wages when my job paid me "under the table?"

Michigan no-fault insurance companies and car accident victims have been litigating this issue for quite some time.  There is Michigan case law to support the notion that no-fault insurers should reimburse injured persons for lost wages even if they were paid "under the table" at their job and have the appropriate medical support for the work disability.

Ward v Titan Insurance Company287 Mich App 552 (2010) may be a good place to start to learn more about this issue.  In Ward, the Michigan Court of Appeals indicated that "the failure to file federal tax returns is not listed as one of the reasons identified by the Legislature to deny a person personal protection insurance benefits." Id at 557.

Keep in mind, generally, there is a "one-year-back" rule which permits the possibility of recovery one year after the lost wages accrued. Some exceptions may exist in certain circumstances. See MCL 500.3145.

Can I make a claim for lost wages if I haven't reported my income yet?

Generally speaking, you may recover for lost wages as a result of a car accident you haven't reported the lost income on taxes. Although this type of situation may present an evidentiary hurdle for your car accident attorney, Ward v Titan Insurance Company presents a lawsuit where the cash payments the plaintiff earned working at a club were not reported on his tax returns, but the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the failure to report the income was not an automatic bar to obtaining payment of lost wages from the No-Fault insurance company.

When is payment from an auto insurance company due?

Generally, reimbursement is due within 30 days after the insurer "receives reasonable proof of the fact and of the amount of loss sustained."  See MCL 500.3142(2).