Being in a car accident in which you sustained injuries and losses to your personal property may have turned your life upside down. Besides spending hours going to medical appointments and looking into having your car repaired, you may have decided to talk to a car accident lawyer to help you with the legal side of your case. However, you may have found that while the legal battle is ongoing, your financial difficulties are growing at an alarming rate, making you feel like your life is truly out of your control. Breathe deeply and read on to find some ideas on how to manage your car accident-related expenses.
Keep Track of All Your Expenses
Start by keeping track of all your expenses. Keep all bills, receipts, and documents that relate to the car accident. Make note of which of these have been paid and which are still outstanding. Include all expenses that you incur when trying to recover your health such as doctor’s visits, treatments, hospital stays, medications, therapies, transportation to and from the medical facilities, and medical supplies that you have had to buy such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or others.
Make another file for expenses related to the damage that your car sustained and whatever you have already had to pay or is still outstanding. If you lost other items in the crash such as your phone, personal computer, tablet, and more, include them in the list. If you have had to hire transportation to get to and from your appointments or your job, include that as well.
Having a final number that includes all of the above will give you a clearer picture of the amounts involved.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Your insurance company needs to be informed of the accident as soon as possible. However, besides making that call, you should take some time to review the policy to understand what is covered and what is not. Policies tend to vary when it comes to deductibles, exclusions, and coverage limits. Your policy may also offer you some protection from expenses related to the crash like damage to your vehicle and to your property and help in liability lawsuits.
Find Out Who Is Responsible for Your Medical Bills
If the accident took place in an at-fault state, it is likely that the driver who caused the accident will be found to be liable for your medical expenses. If the accident occurred in a no-fault state, it will be your own insurance company that will cover these expenses. However, you may find that in either case, the wheels of justice move slowly and you may have no option but to wait until the insurance company conducts their own investigation into the accident and offers you a settlement.
Get Legal Representation
Generally, car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis which means that there will be no out-of-pocket costs to you until the case is settled. Only when you win will you have to pay your attorney and the outstanding bills to your medical providers will also be covered.
Get Financial Help
There are programs and organizations that may be able to offer you some financial relief after an accident providing you meet their qualifications. Look into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get financial coaching. However, you have to be either a vet or a low-income consumer to receive this aid.
Be Careful When Borrowing
It is tempting to reach into your savings and retirement funds to cover immediate financial needs after an accident. However, some of these resources will apply a penalty for early withdrawal and payday lenders will charge very hefty interest rates that may land you in even deeper financial waters.