What To Spend Your Accident Damages On
by Sumona Automotive 23 September 2022
When you’ve been injured in an accident that’s not your fault, you’re often entitled to compensation or damages from the party or parties responsible for them.
Sometimes, these damages are negotiated outside of court, but other times, a judge and jury in a civil trial come up with a figure reflective of your accident’s severity.
Being awarded damages can remove a significant burden from your shoulders, especially when you’re able to cover your accident-related costs, which might have been impossible before.
If you’ve found yourself in this exact position and are overwhelmed by the endless possibilities for what to do with your damages, you might like to start with some of the following costs.
When a personal injury law firm like Grillo Law helps you negotiate a fair settlement offer, medical costs might be one of the first expenses you cover. Severe injuries can require extensive medical treatment over an extended period, and it’s not uncommon to receive bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Alongside the costs associated with your initial emergency room visit, you would likely have also had to pay for x-rays, extended hospital stays, surgeries, and prescription medication. If your injuries were so severe that your healing process would take months or years, you might also have to cover ongoing costs relating to physical therapy and other specialist care.
Consider covering the bills that are due and payable now, and set money aside to cover the costs you expect to pay in the future. You then don’t need to worry about not being able to afford to access the care you need to live life to the fullest.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you have health insurance and they pay your bills related to your accident, they might need to be reimbursed for the damages you receive. Some insurers also place medical liens on damages to ensure they get what they’re owed. Therefore, rather than paying your healthcare provider, you might instead be paying your insurer.
If you were traveling in a vehicle when your accident occurred, it’s likely that it sustained significant damage. Modern cars are designed to take on as much accident impact as possible, and insurers typically deem such vehicles a total loss when it’s not cost-effective or feasible to undertake repairs.
As you might be left without a vehicle after your accident, you can use your settlement money to purchase a new car. Consider setting aside money for ongoing maintenance to ensure you don’t experience financial stress relating to this new purchase.
The beauty of working with a personal injury lawyer is not having to worry about paying an hourly rate to secure their services while building your case. While there can sometimes be administrative costs to cover, such as printing and expert witness hiring, you rarely pay for your lawyer’s time.
This is because most personal injury law firms operate on a contingency fee or ‘no win, no fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay a lawyer for their services unless you win. If you do win, as most lawyers set out to do, you typically part with up to 40% of your settlement. This is a small price to pay for winning your case and being able to cover your accident-related costs.
House and Vehicle Modifications
Permanent medical impairment is a common outcome of many accidents. Some people can be so severely injured that they lose partial or complete mobility and can no longer get around as easily or perform the same tasks they used to.
In these situations, accident victims often have to modify their homes and vehicles to accommodate their new way of life. Wider hallways for wheelchairs, ramps, rails, and non-slip flooring are just a few of the many significant and often costly modifications. Some people even have to upgrade their vehicles or alter them to accommodate a weakness or disability at a great cost.
After receiving damages from the person responsible for your accident, you can likely now afford to cover those costs to ensure you can make the rest of your life as comfortable as possible.
More than half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with many people not being able to afford to take unpaid time off work without being on the brink of homelessness and hunger. If you’ve been involved in an accident that required you to take time off or give up your job altogether, it might have catastrophic consequences for your way of life.
While some people are able to recover from their injuries and return to work, others are forced to find new jobs that suit their reduced abilities. Fortunately, the best personal injury lawyers typically factor lost income into their settlement request by performing a calculation based on whether you receive an hourly wage or an annual salary.
If you’re paid hourly, they might multiply the number of hours you missed due to your accident by your hourly rate, and if you’re paid an annual salary, they would take your yearly salary figure and divide it by the number of weekday work hours per year before multiplying it by the number of hours you missed.
However, if you were to give up your job permanently due to no longer being physically capable of performing it to a high standard, your lawyer might choose to calculate lost income in another way.
There can be many accident-related costs that you don’t typically think about when you’re in the throes of navigating your accident claim: accommodation when you have to seek specialist care out of town, fuel for traveling to appointments and using your employer-provided sick leave, just to name a few.
These costs might seem insignificant at the time, but they can soon add up to several hundred or thousands of dollars over the time it takes for you to recover. While you might not think of these costs, your lawyer likely will and might factor them into your compensation claim.
Receiving the money you’re owed after a stressful life event like a car accident can be overwhelming, and you might not know which bills to cover first. By considering these expenses above first, you can ensure that you’re well set up to live life as comfortably as possible.