Avoiding accidents is second nature. As children, we recoil from hot stoves. As adults, we recoil from reckless drivers. Yet the instinct to avoid accidents is more about self-preservation than our financial situation. Still, accidents cause more than pain or suffering. They can bruise our wallets and purses, too. So how can an accident injury affect your finances?
Cost of Care
The meter starts running almost immediately. If your injury was severe enough to require paramedics, then the ambulance ride alone can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Your hospital stay, medication, treatment, and even surgery means a potentially huge medical bill.
You may require physical therapy while your home may need remodeling to accommodate an accident-related disability. All of these charges mean your finances take a hit in the form of bills to pay. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only issue.
Loss of Income
Your accident can make it tough to do your job. Whether you suffer a disability or just need time off from work, your finances will take a hit. If you are self-employed or run your own business, you might not lose your job but you can lose clients and customers all the same.
This means that even as the bills are piling up as your ability to pay them diminishes. Worse, you may never be the same again. Your injury could lead to an inability to ever earn a decent income again. While the pain and suffering you endured may not be easily quantifiable, it also affects your finances. To do any job well, it helps to be healthy mentally as well as physically. In the aftermath of a serious accident, you may experience severe mental decline. Fortunately, there are solutions.
If you sustained your injury from another’s negligence, then you have grounds for a lawsuit. Besides car accidents where the other driver is at fault, you can sue for damages if you sustained an injury as a pedestrian, a customer at a business, visiting a friend, or a variety of other reasons. A recent report examined Canada’s total economic burden of injury in 2010. It estimated injury-related health care costs as $15.9 billion while indirect costs from reduced productivity, disability, etc. ran some $10.9 billion for a total of $26.8 billion.
If, for example, your injury was caused by a motor vehicle then the driver is required by law to have statutory accident benefits, that can include a wide range of benefits including partial income replacement, reimbursement for personal effects destroyed in the accident, and medical and rehabilitation benefits that range from $3,500 all the way up to $1,000,000.00 for catastrophically designated victims.
However, negotiating with an insurance company is probably the last thing you want to worry about after an accident. Besides, there are numerous claims that can be made that greatly exceed the amounts included in statutory accident benefits. You’ll want to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer in Toronto who can advise you.
Besides car accident claims, personal injury actions have a wide range of causes including tripping and falling in a business to unlawful assault by a police officer. Plaintiffs in these cases can win settlements worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. No dollar amount can make a seriously injured accident victim whole, of course. But not having to worry about money definitely increases an accident victim’s peace of mind.
Be prepared. All insurance isn’t created equal. Consider purchasing accident insurance. It can provide cash benefits for covered accidents and reimburse you for everything from ambulance rides to emergency care. After all, no one plans to get in an accident. Making sure you are covered is the best way to avoid financial ruin if it happens.