A serious injury has long-lasting financial effects including medical bills, lost income, lessened earning capacity, and overall pain and suffering. Understanding these effects helps injury victims realize the need for legal help after an accident. By pushing for adequate compensation, injury victims can overcome some of these financial challenges and move forward from the incident.
1. Rising Medical Bills
Medical bills are one of the first financial costs people have after a serious injury. The severity of the injuries and the amount of medical care required directly impacts the cost of these bills. If injuries are serious enough to require hospitalization or ongoing therapy, the costs are going to increase significantly. For a car accident or similar incident requiring an ambulance ride, bills can quickly skyrocket.
2. Time Away from Work
Recovery after a serious accident takes time. If injuries are serious enough to prevent an injured party from working, that will further impact his or her finances. Immediately after an accident, most victims are either in the hospital or recovering at home and cannot work. When the physical condition starts to stabilize, victims may be put on restrictions that prevent him or her from working.
Every day that an individual is unable to work reduces his or her income. Disability or workman’s compensation insurance can help, but if the accident was not work-related or the worker doesn’t have disability coverage, then he or she has no income. In addition, these insurance policies only cover a portion of the amount the individual would have earned while working. If the recovery takes several weeks or even months, leaving the victim unable to work, the financial pressure adds up.
3. Lessened Earning Capacity
If an accident or injury leaves an individual incapacitated in some way, such as causing paralysis or loss of a limb, then the person’s overall earning capacity drops significantly. This particular financial effect is harder to measure, and often requires filing a personal injury lawsuit to fully explore.
For example, if an injured person was close to a promotion at work, but the time off work and lessened abilities caused someone else to get the promotion, this could be considered lessened earning capacity. If someone has to take a less strenuous job with lower pay as a result of injuries, this is also lessened earning capacity.
In spite of lessened earning capacity and time away from work, people who are recovering from an accident still must meet financial obligations. Individuals must continue with paying mortgages or rent, buying groceries, covering utilities, and paying spousal maintenance and child support obligations, all while dealing with reduced income.
Recovering all of the potential losses is most successful with the help of an experienced personal injury or accident attorney. By filing a personal injury claim, injured parties can reduce financial burdens after an accident as he or she focuses on recovery.
4. Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering may not initially seem like a financial issue, but it can lead to financial problems. The inconveniences and pain an accident causes can make it difficult to work productively. Anxiety after a serious accident can create the need for mental health treatment, which is costly. The law in most states dictates that these factors deserve compensation just as much as physical bills and lost wages. Yet, these costs are harder to quantify, which is another reason working with a personal injury attorney is so helpful.
A serious accident leaves many people with long-term financial repercussions. Filing a personal injury claim can help injured parties recover some of those losses as he or she moves forward with recovery, easing the financial burden in an already challenging time.