If you have suffered as a result of the negligence of another person or entity, then there is the very real possibility that you are facing major financial losses. A personal injury attorney can, of course, help you win a personal injury settlement and the monies that you deserve to cover your damages, but that can take time. Time is money, as they say, so you must do what you can to ease the financial difficulties until the compensation is awarded by the courts and paid by the negligent parties’ insurance.
PIP (Personal Injury Protection). This is a part of your own car insurance required in Florida. It is supposed to pay up to 60 percent of your lost wages as a result from a car crash, regardless of fault. You just fill out a form with your insurance carrier indicating the days you missed. Oftentimes, it requires a form filled out by your employer as well.
Disability Payments. In some instances, it may be possible to collect temporary disability payments, if your injuries have made it impossible to return to your job. It is important to point out that, for that vast majority of people living and working in Saint Petersburg (and elsewhere around the country), the disability payments will not be equal to regularly earned wages. They can, however, help you cover the necessities, so you do not face bankruptcy, hunger, or foreclosure.
Cutting Costs. It will very likely be necessary to cut your household expenses during the time between an accident and a personal injury settlement. The legal system can protect you, but that process does take time. As you follow through with the legal process, you may need to cut any extravagances in life, particularly if you don’t have any money stashed away in savings. This will often mean that a family has to sell a car, if they have more than one vehicle. It can also mean canceling unnecessary monthly subscriptions, cutting back on luxury grocery items, and, as heartbreaking as it can be, also eliminating any expensive children’s extracurricular activities. These cuts are deeply felt by all members of the household, but do keep in mind that, with the right representation, you can be awarded damages and your life can get back on track in a relatively short span of time. If you do this, make sure to let your personal injury attorney know about all of these losses. He/she may be able to add them to your damages to be paid by the defendant’s insurance.
Payment Plans. For some families, it is not necessary to make all these cuts to their lives. Many companies and organizations are willing to accept payments in increments. If the payment plan can be fit within the household income allowances, then costs may not have to be cut so drastically. It is worth speaking with the organizations that you regularly deal with in St. Petersburg to see if such considerations could be made, given your circumstances.
Settlement Loans. Avoid these at all costs. They usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I personally have had one case which I took over from another attorney where the initial loan was $1,200 and the loan holder claimed he was owed $48,000.00 from the settlement! There may be a time and place for them but they are few and far between. Listen to your attorney if he/she suggests you avoid them.
Return to Work When You Are Able. Many fear that they will lose their case if they show signs of recovery. However, trying to make money to keep your family safe and secure is worthwhile. So long as it can be proven that your injuries caused physical, emotional, or financial damages in your life, then a personal injury attorney will consider the case and may be able to help you seek damages. If you believe that you are healed “enough” to return to work, and you fear that it might have repercussions on your case and personal injury settlement, speak to your lawyer, so your mind can be eased.
Above all else, to ensure that you do not endure long-lasting financial hardship as a result of someone else’s negligence, be sure to contact an attorney right away. Discuss the injuries or damages suffered, the details of the case, and what might be done to ensure that you receive fair compensation in a personal injury settlement. In the end, the legal system is your best bet for continuing the profitable life that you have built for yourself.