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The financial impact of sudden medical expenses

You're riding your motorcycle through California, obeying the traffic laws and enjoying the open air. Suddenly, with no warning, a car turns in front of you. Your bike slams into the side of the car. You don't have time to slow down, much less avoid it. The impact sends you crashing into the side window and then down to the pavement, where you lose consciousness. You do not wake up until you're in the ICU at the local hospital.

Doctors do say that, miraculously, you should recover. You also find out that the other driver got charged in the accident; as you thought all along, you did nothing wrong and did not cause the crash. It was their mistake.

That doesn't mean that this situation will have no impact on your life after your recovery. The medical bills from just a few days in the ICU can be incredible. If you spend weeks or even months in the hospital, you could find yourself in more debt than you can ever pay off. Plus, you have to think about things like lost wages, lost future earnings, the cost of replacing your bike and much more.

Will you go bankrupt?

You may not think that a motorcycle accident would put you at risk for bankruptcy, but let's take a moment to think about the realities of your financial situation. You may face tens of thousands of dollars in debt. You may never be able to work again. It's a dire combination.

Did you know that some studies have listed unexpected medical bills as the top reason that people file for bankruptcy? If you think that having health insurance will bail you out, you should know that the majority of those in the study also had health insurance. It did not prevent them from filing for bankruptcy.

Plus, this entire example does not even consider the state of your finances before the crash. How much debt do you have? Do you pay rent or have a mortgage? Did you still owe on that bike? Do you have any debt that you had been missing payments for prior to the accident? Maybe you were already facing financial troubles, and this crash simply came at the worst possible time.

What now?

Everyone's financial situation is different, but it is not hard to see the risks. You could face far more challenges than just your physical recovery. This could define much of your life for years to come -- and none of it was even your fault.

That's why you need to know what legal options you may have to seek compensation for your costs from the driver who caused the wreck.

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