Were you injured in a car accident? Did you trip and fall on a display at a retail store? Did you injure yourself on faulty or outdated equipment at the job? Getting hurt is no fun. It’s even worse when you were hurt as a result of someone else’s actions (or lack thereof). Healing from your injuries is a top priority, but you can’t forget about the other areas of your life this will affect. Depending on the severity of the accident, your finances could be hit hard for who knows how long.
Accidents = Debt
There’s no way around it. Whether you were the one to blame or not, being involved in an accident of any kind is going to cost you money. Those who suffer significant or permanent injuries and require a long time to recover may find their finances hit in the following ways:
- Loss time from work – Depending on what your doctor says, you could be looking at several days, weeks, or months off from work. After exhausting sick and vacation time, this will likely be unpaid time.
- Loss of employment – If your injuries are permanent and you’re incapable of performing your job anymore, your employer will have to let you go. This is also true if you’ll be out too long and the position needs to be filled.
- Medical bills, copays, and prescription costs – Until a guilty party has been determined, all medical costs related to the accident outside of those covered by insurance will be up to you to pay.
- Unpaid bills due to lack of income – With regular income on hold, it can be easy to neglect bills that aren’t as important just to survive.
- Abuse of credit and lending products – Many start tapping into retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and using credit cards to survive.
What to Do About It
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be stressful. When you add money matters to the mix, it only gets worse. You’ll need to take the appropriate steps to try to keep your finances in order. Here is some advice:
Get an attorney – If you have suffered significantly on the financial side of things and insurance isn’t cooperating, you may need to hire an expert like someone at Schwartzapfel, a firm in the Bronx that can provide you with a great injury lawyer, to guide you through the process. If you have a case, they can help you get compensated for things like lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
File Disability – You’ll need to have some form of income while you recover. Once you’ve exhausted all your sick and vacation days from work you should be eligible to apply for disability. Whether short or long-term disability, it will provide you a percentage of your income to cover expenses while you’re out of work.
Look for Free Programs – The federal and local government offer a lot of programs to the general public. They understand it can be difficult financially and they look to help those with little to no income. Look to see if you can get affordable health insurance, car insurance, housing assistance, grocery assistance, utility bill help, and more. The more programs you qualify for, the less you have to worry about covering your personal budget.
Look for Ways to Supplement – Even if you’re going to be out of work for awhile and your financial resources are tapped out, the bills have still need to get paid. Now is the perfect opportunity to start looking for ways to supplement your income. You can rent out a room in your home, move in with someone and rent your entire house out, find a side hustle online, or look for a part-time job that won’t put more stress on your body.
It is common to assume that if you’ve been hurt in an accident, that all you’ll have to worry about is recovering physically. Although visiting the doctor, eating a well-balanced diet, and working out as allowed are all very important to your recovery, stress from finances can counteract all of your efforts. Therefore, to reduce the stress in your life, look for resources or experts such as those described above to help keep you afloat as you work on getting back to your old self.