Managing the Financial Aftermath of a Serious Injury

After you have sustained a personal injury that has required extensive medical treatment, you may be feeling anxious about how it will affect your long-term financial health. An injury that causes you to experience considerable pain or prevents you from working for an extended period of time is likely to result in significant economic hardship. Careful financial oversight can make the challenging aftermath of an injury easier to navigate.

Pursue a Legal Remedy

If your injuries occurred due to someone else’s negligence, a legal remedy might offer some relief. Legal counsel may be able to help you seek reasonable compensation from a liable party. Damages in personal injury actions typically include lost wages as well as compensation for medical expenses. It could be possible to recover medical expenses that a health insurance plan paid for, but an insurance carrier could request a repayment of any expenses that it paid from an award for damages. In some jurisdictions, it is possible for carriers to join legal claims as third-party plaintiffs.

It is important to note, however, that many personal injury claims do not advance to litigation. In a typical claim, a claimant pursues compensation from the insurance carrier of the responsible individual or business entity. When a claimant’s counsel can make a strong showing of culpability, it may be in an insurance carrier’s best interest to settle a claim and avoid litigation. For the most part, claim adjusters want to settle claims for the smallest amount that a claimant will accept. For this reason, you need to review any settlement offers that you receive with a high degree of scrutiny. Even if the immediate financial impact of an injury that you have to deal with is causing you serious hardship, you need a remedy that is commensurate with your actual financial damages.     

Preserve Settlement Funding

If you receive a personal injury settlement or a judicial award for damages, it is imperative that you moderate your access to the funds. It is especially important to spend compensation judiciously if you expect that your injury is going to impact your income for the foreseeable future.

Prioritize your spending based on your current needs. Avoid using funds in a manner that exceeds your spending habits prior to the accident and does not bear any relation to new expenses resulting from your injury such as ongoing medical care or accessibility modifications in your home.

Try to Work With Creditors

A sudden inability to continue making payments on outstanding credit lines which are currently in good standing can have a deleterious and long-lasting impact on your personal credit. Simply defaulting and ignoring collection attempts may not be a good course of action.

In some instances, it may be possible to postpone payments for certain types of debt. For example, some student loan providers may grant deferment or forbearance for a medical issue that impacts your earning capacity.

After an injury, cautious and deliberate management of your financial situation is essential. When you can worry less about finances, you can focus on your recovery.