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4 Ways an Injury Will Affect You Financially

Personal Injury Lawyers in Florida

Everyone has a general understanding that getting into a car crash is not good. Whether we are aware of the idea or not, we are all constantly trying to avoid this situation on a daily basis. Car crashes cost us financially when it comes time to repair our vehicles. They cost us time as we stand on the side of the road and wait for a heap of bureaucratic processes to commence. They cost us in hard-earned premiums, as they inevitably go up.

But how will you be affected financially if you are injured?

Every year in the US there are more than 5.5 million motor vehicle crashes. Of those wrecks, one-third of them involve injuries. Of course, we all know this is a possibility each and every time we drive, but what will the financial costs really be if we are involved in an unfortunate collision? The answer can be broken down into four categories: Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Diminished Earning Capacity, and Pain and Suffering. Let’s take a look at each one individually.

1.Medical bills

The most obvious cost of an injury will be your medical bills. The effect an injury has on your financial situation obviously depends on the severity of your injuries, the treatments needed, and how well you are compensated in the end. If you only suffer minor injuries, chances are you won’t be tossed into a whirlpool of financial crisis. However, if your injuries are serious, things could start to snowball quickly. Often, when someone has moderate to severe injuries from an accident, they are transported directly to a hospital. If you’ve ever ridden in an ambulance, you know it’s not cheap.

When I was 18, I cut myself pretty severely while horse playing with friends. It was soon determined that I needed medical attention as soon as possible. An ambulance was called and I was transported to the local hospital. Days later, while recovering at home, I received a bill in the mail. It was for the short ambulance ride to the hospital—a total of one-quarter of a mile. The cost was $800. I couldn’t believe it.

If you are involved in an accident with injuries, the ambulance ride will only be the start of the financial onslaught. After that, the bills and charges for the hospital stay, x-rays, specialists, orthopedists, medications, and the like will start to roll in. And the list could get longer.

Florida’s PIP insurance will help cover some of these costs regardless of fault. As far as medical bills goes, PIP pays 80% up to $10,000 for those victims with an emergency medical condition. After that, the responsibility falls on MedPay, bodily injury insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage. This is, of course, if you elected these options while purchasing insurance. [Note to yourself: check that your insurance coverage is adequate before a crash]. These are considered first-party claims because it is coverage that you” provide for yourself.

If the above does not cover all your medical expenses, and you were not at-fault, then you can sue the other driver’s insurance to cover the remainder of your damages. This is called a third-party claim. It takes time and aggressive litigation to be successful.

In the meantime, the medical bills must still be paid. That includes the 20% that PIP does not cover and any costs over $10,000. You can use your private healthcare to cover this cost temporarily. However, they will expect repayment upon receipt of your settlement. When medical bills start coming in, do not ignore them. If you have any questions about what to do, speak with your attorney. They will be a valuable resource during this process, since this is likely your first time dealing with this—and their thousandth time.

2.Time Away from Work

After the accident in which you sustain injuries, you will likely miss work. Depending on the severity of the injury, it could be just a few days, or it could be months. You will likely miss work immediately after the car accident as you are treated in a hospital and your injuries are stabilized. After that, you will need recovery time, during which you still won’t be working. Once you reach a point where you can return to work, you still might not be able to return full time. You may need to take a few days off a week for rehabilitation; or at least, take off sporadically for appointments.

Every day that you are not working, is a day that you are not earning income. These days, very few people can afford to miss even a few days of work, much less weeks or months. This will be a huge part of the financial strain after an accident.

In Florida, PIP will help to reimburse you for some of your lost wages. To receive this compensation, you and your attorney will submit a “Wage and Salary Verificationform to your employer. This will be used to gather the appropriate information about how much you would usually make at work.

However, PIP will only cover 60% of your lost wages due to injury. In order to reclaim the rest of your lost wages, you will have to claim them as damages when you and your attorney file suit against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.

Disability will also be covered under PIP’s 60% coverage for lost wages. This would include things like having to pay someone to cut your lawn, do your laundry, clean your house, watch your children, etc. These types of costs don’t usually come to mind after an accident, but they are a very real part of how an injury will affect your finances.

3.Diminished Earning Capacity

Even after you recover, your career and/or future work hours could be diminished by the injuries you sustained in the car accident. This idea comes from the intangible opportunities lost while you were missing work. For example, you may have been close to a promotion before you got hurt, but now someone else took the spot. You may not ever recover to 100% and thus won’t be able to advance as far in your career as you had hoped. Or, you may have to take a less strenuous job for lower pay because of your new limitations. All these things should be considered when determining your damages. An experienced attorney will be vital in recovering compensation for these future financial burdens. In the end, you should not have to suffer financially for an accident that was not your fault.

4.Pain and Suffering

The fourth way that a car accident injury will affect you financially is in pain and suffering. Florida law allows for pain and suffering to be factored into damages, and for good reason. If it had not been for the other driver’s negligence, you could have gone on with your day and on with your life. That should not be taken away from you without due compensation.

Pain and suffering is part of a something knowns as general damages. These damages basically compensate your for having “to go through” the inconveniences, pain, and anguish of an injury that never would have happened if not the other person’s negligence. This could include compensation for having to endure physical pain, like a spinal injury. It could include compensation for enduring mental pain, like insomnia or depression. And it could include compensation for emotional anguish, like knowing that you will never be able to pick up your grandchildren again. These things rightfully deserve some sort of compensation.

Like other general damages that are non-economic by nature, pain and suffering is not easily quantified. However, that is where an experienced attorney comes in. They understand what your pain and suffering is worth and factor it into your settlement demand. In determining your pain and suffering, several factors will be taken in account, such as: the severity of your injuries, the pain and overall discomfort that is associated with those types of injuries, how the injuries have impacted your life, the level of treatment required, and your prognosis.

Dolman Law Group

The simple fact is, an injury from a car accident will affect you financially. It may be minimal or it may be significant, but any injury costs something. What can be changed is who will bear the financial burden. If the accident was not your fault, it should not be you.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, call the experienced attorneys at Dolman Law Group. We will schedule a free consultation to sit down with you, go over your case, and answer any questions or concerns that you may have. We will do everything we can to limit your financial liability. You already have to deal with the physical and emotional weight; don’t take on the financial one too. Call us today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 451-6900

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