Experiencing a personal injury not only hurts your body; you can also feel that pain in your wallet. Between the medical costs and time lost from work, a personal injury can be financially devastating, even to those who have an emergency savings fund.
Fortunately, there are ways to recuperate costs and recover both physically and financially from a personal injury. Here are some of the important steps to take when you get hurt.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Whether you experience a slip and fall accident at work or get hurt while grocery shopping, your first step should always be to seek medical care. Many people make the mistake of skipping this essential step as they feel physically fine or embarrassed immediately following the accident. However, adrenaline often downplays pain in the body, and some injuries take a few days to make themselves known.
By heading directly for medical care, you are starting the important process of documenting your injury. The only delay should be to snap a few photos of the area where you are injured, especially if there is a distinct cause (like water on the floor or unsafe equipment).
Contact an Attorney
Medical bills start piling up from your first visit to the doctor’s office following your injury. Contact an attorney right away to determine whether or not you can sue for damages. An attorney will be able to look at your case and identify if there is just cause to pursue financial compensation.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a percentage basis rather than an upfront fee. This is also something to discuss with the attorneys you contact. You can also visit this page to understand how the process works. You can also check for workers compensation attorneys Richmond and in Boston.
Discuss Disability with Your Employer
Depending on your line of work and your benefits plan, you may be eligible for short or long-term disability. This will allow you to maintain your position at your place of work while taking time off to recover. Generally speaking, the money you receive during this time is substantially lower than your wages. However, it ensures there’s still some money coming in and protects your job.
Return to Work When Possible
While it’s important to rest up and give your body time to heal, the sooner you can return to work, the better you will be able to finance your medical bills and limit wages lost. Work with your physician to identify your physical capabilities in writing. Take this information to your employer to discuss the possibility of doing light duties scaled to your limitations.
When going this route, it’s also wise to discuss your rights with the local, as there are often employment laws in place to keep you safe and employed.
Shift Your Budget
Take this opportunity to look at your personal finances and shift your budget accordingly. It can take time for benefits to be paid. Your main goal will be to minimize debt during this time. Even if your case is solid, and you’re 99% sure that you’ll be reimbursed, it’s better to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Purge Some Belongings
If you know you will be off work for a while, you can look at it as an opportunity to sell some of your unused belongings and organize your home. If your injury prevents you from being mobile, you will need help with this task. Sell some items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to help recuperate costs.
Be Insurance Savvy
When you’re making a claim for an injury, you need to be insurance savvy. Many insurance companies will use surveillance to determine whether you are submitting a false claim. While it may seem like nothing to move a large box on a day when you’re feeling ok, if it gets documented, you risk losing your claim and all of your coverage.
The main thing to keep in mind when you experience a personal injury is that you should hope for the best, but plan for the worst. In doing so, you set yourself up to minimize debt and get healthy without the added stress of money issues.