You were driving down the road minding your own business when out of nowhere, another driver slammed into your car. Your life transformed in an instant. And in the aftermath, you are left with serious injuries.
Now there are so many questions and problems that seem to arise daily. You have ongoing medical needs, may have future medical expenses, aren’t able to work and the bills are mounting.
And the worst part? No one prepares you to deal with the many issues that arise after you’ve been injured in a car accident.
Nevertheless, it’s important to know that you can recover some of your expenses and losses when someone else’s negligence caused your injuries.
So what are the three most expensive costs that you may have to face after your car accident injury? Because the good news is that you may be entitled to receive compensatory damages that reimburse you for these out-of-pocket types of payments and obtain a car accident injury settlement
In no particular order…
1The High Cost of Air Ambulance Rides
Your accident occured in a remote area, at a significant driving distance from any hospital. It left you with life-threatening injuries that require immediate medical response, like broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a lacerated spleen.
To save you, paramedics called for an air ambulance to whisk you off to the nearest hospital. Add to that several days spent in intensive care or weeks spent in a hospital room, and the total medical bill you receive may cause significant worries.
In a country where the rule is to fly first and ask questions later, some patients find emergency air flights saved their lives, often in dramatic circumstances. What they also find is that they’re stuck with a significant medical debt they can’t afford to pay.
No matter how much they appreciate the medical service they receive, many times the medical bill is astronomic, over the roof.
According to a federal report published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the most recent available data shows that the average charge for a helicopter air ambulance ride can amount to more than $36,000. For plane transportation, one of the rides was even more expensive, costing $40,000.
The amount of the total medical bill can be so high that it exceeds what the party who was responsible for the accident has to cover. And insurance often doesn’t help foot the bill.
So what could be the answer?
“Because health care costs aren’t inflexible, it is possible to negotiate down and reduce your medical bills to minimize your financial burden and make sure your needs are covered,” says Sean Cleary, Miami car accident lawyer.
This is what you can do in such a situation:
- Appeal with your insurance adjuster to cover more of the total medical bill
- Negotiate with the air ambulance provider until you settle for a fraction of the bill; they may be willing to do this to avoid turning to debt collectors
- Contact the hospital billing department, let them know you have questions and try to work with them to reduce the bill.
2The High Cost of Lost Time and Earnings
Did your injury allow you to get back to work but only on a “part-time” basis? Did it require a change of job or employment?
Many times, when you’re injured, you can’t work, either temporarily or permanently. And if you don’t earn money, you can’t provide for yourself and your family.
Therefore, the consequences of your car accident injury may include lost time from work – the days and hours you were unable to function at work – and lost wages.
In the worst-case scenario of a near-death experience – which can be very traumatic – it can take months to recover from injuries. That’s making it very difficult to focus on work. Often, folks find they need to file for bankruptcy because their accident left their families without a livelihood.
So what could you do about it?
You need to be ready to negotiate with your insurance company if any of the following situations of loss of income apply to you:
- You are no longer able to do your job if it demands heavy labor and lifting
- You lost any sick leave or vacation time
- You have a loss of future earning capacity
- You can’t t attend business meetings or are unable to make appointments with potential customers
- You lost an opportunity for an interview that may have led to a better job.
3The Long-Term Cost of Physical Stress
Pain and suffering – besides medical bills and lost wages – is another type of damage that can be a part of your car accident injury settlement.
For example, when you were involved in a car accident resulting in catastrophic injuries, you needed several surgeries and a long period of physical therapy. At every medical visit, the doctor asked about and recorded your pain level.
During your recovery, your schedule included medical treatments of one sort or another in various types of medical facilities. Even so, you never fully recovered from your injury and were left with permanent scars.
You can’t predict what the full extent of your recovery is going to cost, just days or weeks after your accident. Before making any major financial decisions, for example, taking out a personal loan, there are also ways to recover damages for your injuries.
If your injuries are serious or permanent, medically verifiable and they affect your daily activities, you have a good case for recovering damages for your pain and suffering. That is, as long as you can prove that someone else’s negligence caused the injuries.
How can you prove your pain and suffering to the insurance company? The necessary proof you can gather may include:
- Your medical records and bills
- Photos, in cases where the injuries are external
- Records from pain specialists
- Videos showing your surgery.
About the author
Sean M. Cleary is the founder and owner of The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary and he is a Miami car accident lawyer based in Florida. Sean’s law office is dedicated to representing personal injury cases, with a focus on car accidents, product liability, wrongful death and medical malpractice.