After you’re involved in an auto accident, something you might struggle with is knowing how you’re going to pay your bills. While you might have one or two paychecks still on their way, if you can’t go back to work, you may not have any additional income.
This can be frightening for those already dealing with serious injuries, and rightfully so. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to manage your finances until you can settle or take a personal injury case to court.
Staying out of debt after a personal injury
After you’re injured, the priority should not be your medical debt. Medical debt is usually what can wait the longest compared to other debts like your mortgage or a grocery bill. Talk to the hospital, or have your attorney reach out, so that the administrators there know what’s going on. The billing department may be able to put bills on hold temporarily or work with you to come up with a reasonable monthly payment until the other party’s insurance steps in.
Avoid using your credit cards
While you may feel that using your credit cards would be best in the short term, doing this could lead to interest and a higher debt load overall. If you run into problems paying back that money or making payments, your credit score could be negatively affected. Instead of this, consider other alternatives like getting support from loved ones or taking out a low-interest personal loan to help you support yourself until the settlement payout is finalized.
You should not focus on any unnecessary bills at this time. Call your lenders or have your attorney do so. They may be able to negotiate lower bills or bill relief for a period of time, so you don’t have to worry about them until you’re starting to recover and have a settlement in hand.
Making a personal injury claim as soon as possible will help you avoid a long wait between when your bills arrive and you have a potential settlement in hand. Your attorney will go over other options with you, so you have a full understanding of how to handle your bills based on your circumstances.