Planning For Financial Survival After A Car Accident
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A car accident can be as disruptive and harmful to your life as it is to your car. Most people have experienced the inconvenience of being without a car, whether it’s for a mechanical reason or due to damage in an accident. But that frustration and inconvenience is compounded dramatically when you are not only without your car but also are injured.
Automobile accident injuries can threaten your life, create huge bills and interfere with your ability to work and take care of your family. What makes things worse is that you often experience these injuries due to someone else’s negligence. No matter how skilled you are as a driver, you can’t always keep others from hurting you.
That makes it very important to do all you can to prepare for an automobile accident. You should take some steps to be sure that you are planning to protect your health, your income, and your family if someone else causes an accident that involves you.
Know Your Legal Rights
If you are involved in an accident, you should be very careful what you say to other drivers. Refuse to allow them to “settle up” privately with you to avoid a police report. Call law enforcement and quickly photograph the scene before anyone gets a chance to move anything. If you are hurt, ask a bystander or witness to take some pictures as you’ll need this to file an accident report.
After you get the police report, determine if you have a case. Find a legal firm that can evaluate the information and advise you as to whether you should take legal action. Resist the pressure of insurance companies to accept a quick settlement offer and instead wait until you know the extent and expense of all your medical requirements.
Insure Yourself Against Them
State laws require motorists to have liability insurance, but this is about more than liability. Many insurance carriers can provide uninsured motorist coverage that will address your medical needs if someone else is at fault in your accident and doesn’t have insurance. Even if you eventually win a judgment against just such an offender, the medical bills will already be piling up before you recover any money, so you need to get this added layer of protection.
Uninsured motorist coverage is typically fairly inexpensive, and the company will pay you quickly before they pursue a recovery of their costs from the other driver. In other words, you get the money right away and save yourself the effort of chasing down the defendant.
Use Good General Financial Planning
Of course, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from every kind of financial mishap is to have an emergency fund. Set aside a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, whatever you can accumulate. Maybe make this part of your plans for your tax refund.
Then keep it in a liquid form–that is, in a savings account or simply locked in a safe as cash. Don’t place it in a CD or other instrument that can take time or expense to release. You need to be able to access it immediately. The best thing about this is that the money can be used for any expense that comes along, everything from a dental emergency to missed wages.
It’s also helpful to economize in every part of your financial life to keep your expenses to a minimum in case of a disruption to your earning ability. Finding ways to reduce utilities, save on groceries, or economize your fuel consumption can free up some money for that emergency fund and reduce the financial demands on your paycheck, should it be lost.
No one wants to think about being injured and off work, but it’s the reality of life that sometimes it happens. It can be painful, difficult, and disruptive, but you can do some things to minimize the impact. Plan ahead to make sure someone else’s highway error doesn’t ruin your life.
Photo courtesy of: PublicDomainPictures
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