As if recovering from the injuries suffered in a car accident were not enough, victims are often left struggling with the financial impact too. Even after the injuries heal, the stress of medical debt and other accident-related costs can cause many sleepless nights. Here are some options to consider if you or someone you care about is trying to recover from the financial fallout of a car crash.
1. Insurance Policies
For most people, the number one go-to after a car crash is insurance – either health insurance, auto insurance or both. While these coverages can address a serious chunk of the medical bills, there may still be out-of-pocket costs or deductibles that need to be met. That can add up to thousands of dollars when there are serious injuries involved. Worse yet, a serious injury may leave a person unable to work, meaning there’s no means to pay medical bills, let alone keep up with mortgage payments, buy food and handle other daily expenses.
This may go without saying, but you could have to pay money out of pocket. This might mean clearing out your savings account or even cashing in all or part of your retirement account. Before you take such a dramatic step, look into setting up a payment plan for your medical bills or consider other options. Be aware that you may even be able to negotiate your medical costs with the provider and your insurer.
For those who qualify or who are already receiving Medicaid in Ohio, Medicaid will cover medical costs following a motor vehicle accident. This includes emergency care such as the ambulance ride and initial emergency room visit, as well as ongoing doctor visits, surgeries and physical therapy.
People hurt in car accidents often have to seek loans to cover medical bills or to address other daily expenses. That might mean asking friends or family members for small personal loans to cover groceries or utilities payments, or it might mean going to the bank and putting up some form of collateral to get a loan to pay off all the bills related to the car accident. Proceed with caution with this step, as the interest rates that come with a loan from a lending institution may be high, while medical bills do not typically have interest at all.
GoFundMe and other crowdfunding websites are becoming an increasingly important tool for Ohioans and people worldwide to pay medical costs after suffering an injury in a car accident. A GoFundMe campaign may be shared across social media, drawing donations from relatives, friends, coworkers and even altruistic strangers who simply want to help. Unfortunately, without a strong network on social media, crowdfunding campaigns may struggle. Still, every little bit helps.
6. Personal Injury Claim
If the car wreck was caused by a careless driver, you may be able to pursue compensation with a personal injury claim. Was the other driver speeding? Did they run a stop sign or red light? Did they swerve into your lane? Did they take a left turn in front of you? Were they texting and driving?
Even if you are not totally certain that the other driver was at fault or you think you may have been partially at fault, you may want to chat with an attorney about your options. Consultations are free, and if you are eligible to file a car accident claim you may be able to recover money for medical bills, lost wages and even the pain and suffering you have experienced because of the other driver’s mistake.