As much as we try to prevent them, accidents are bound to happen. When it’s bad enough, the accident can have a downward spiral affect that impacts the entire household. Whether it was a slip and fall, a work related injury, or a car accident, getting past it requires more than just taking a few pain pills and waiting for the injuries to heal. A bad accident in fact, can cause permanent disabilities making it much harder on the family financially and emotionally. While no one can predict the future, being prepared is the solution to getting through difficult times.
Financial Effects of Accidents
There are insurances in place that are supposed to provide financial compensation to individuals who have been injured. For instance, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, your insurance company or the insurance company of the negligent driver is supposed to compensate you for your damages and medical expenses. If you’re injured on the job, worker’s compensation insurance should cover your medical expenses as well as lost income while you’re out of work. As beneficial as these insurances are, what do you do in instances where your injury is so bad, you can’t return to work?
Lost wages, pain and suffering and other compensation is not always covered by insurance upfront. The funds you’ve been provided eventually run out. While you can obtain disability coverage, most times it’s nowhere near your regular pay. As such finances begin to fall behind leading to more stress in the household. Below are some things you can do to get through the financial aftermath of an accident:
- Reevaluate Your Budget – living on less money when you weren’t expecting it can be difficult. It essentially means you have to learn to spread your money even further. While it might seem like a challenge, there are really easy ways that you can spend less money each month. Look at your budget and see where you spend the most and find ways to cut back. This might mean eating out less, cutting you cable plan, or even downgrading your cell phone packages. Whatever will help you take care of the bare necessities is ideal.
- Consider an Attorney – if the injuries are severe and you can’t seek financial compensation amicably with the insurance company, consider talking with a personal injury attorney. While the financial results won’t be immediate, attorneys can assist clients in getting compensated for more than just property damage and medical bills. Mike Pines, a San Diego personal injury attorney, gives a good synopsis on the various areas for which such a law firm can help you get financial restitution. Should you have a valid case, going to court would allow you to receive compensation to relieve some of the financial stress of an accident.
The Emotional Aftermath
While some injuries can heal with treatment and time, there are some things that can last a lifetime. Major injuries as a result of an accident can have psychological effects on the entire family that needs to be addressed. A parent not being able to return to work as a result of their injuries can begin to feel depressed or even stressed about their current circumstances. These feelings can then be passed on to their spouse and even the children. To prevent the emotional aftermath of an accident from taking control of your life, here are some things you might consider trying:
- Have a family meeting – talk with your children about the accident and the injuries that you have incurred. Let them know that because of this accident there are certain things that you won’t be able to do anymore. Leave the door open for them to ask questions should they feel the need. When a child is made aware of the problem, it can be easier to cope as you work on healing from your injuries.
- Consider Counseling – if you notice that the psychological effects of an accident are starting to get to you, then speaking with someone about the matter can help you to get past the emotional pain. Talking with a counselor specializing in trauma is ideal as they are best equipped to help you deal with any negative feelings you have about the accident or life after. Sometimes simply having a “sounding board” can make you feel that much better.
We all hope we’re never involved in any form of accident, but sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. Knowing what to do immediately following the accident and having a plan to deal with the financial and emotional effects will make getting through this traumatic experience a lot easier. While I certainly hope this never happens in my household or yours, I do hope this bit of advice will help you in preparing for what may or may not come your way.