50 percent of all Americans have less than $250 in savings, finds a survey conducted by The Balance. The average person’s aversion to taking more control of their finances is understandable. But once faced with a crisis, such as a life-altering injury, such a move becomes a necessity. Financial planning is full of challenges, whether it be for retirement or other purposes, especially if you’re inexperienced. So if you’ve recently undergone a career-ending accident and are unsure of how to proceed, read on.
Take inventory of your financial assets
Now, it is more important than ever to know how much money you have in the form of liquid assets and possessions, as well as alternate sources of income. If you are the sole breadwinner of the family, the best chance you will have for consistent income would be sickness benefits. But these are small stipends that usually amount to half a day’s wages, paid out weekly. If you have enough savings set aside, you should start thinking about investments. If you had already made investments, see which ones can be cashed out. You might need to pull out your investments before they’ve matured, so check which ones don’t penalize you too much for doing that. See if any of your insurance policies can cover the cost of living in the event of a life-changing accident. It is also probably best to see which of your possessions you can stand to sell.
Find out if you are entitled to compensation
Now that your main source of income has dried up, you should start thinking about how you might be compensated for such a life-altering change. If you were injured at work, you can file a worker’s compensation claim, or otherwise sue for negligence. Alternatively, any gross misconduct during your treatment can also earn you some compensation. Lawyers are quick to spot the most common types of medical malpractice, meaning that you might be entitled to a large sum without your knowing. The average medical malpractice claim pays out over $300,000 and hospitals usually settle out of court, making the process quick and smooth.
Rebuild your future plans around your new circumstances
After a life-altering accident, your previous plans for the future might need a huge overhaul, or may have to be scrapped altogether. But once you know what assets you have at your disposal, this should be a little easier. It’s all a matter of balancing your new assets with your new expenses. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t count whatever amount you are owed until you secure it from your employer or healthcare providers. If you are in debt, you should renegotiate the terms of your repayment plan. Some creditors can even agree to write off a loan provided that you show them proof of your medical condition. You might need a lawyer to help you out with this, however. Additionally, even if you are covered by health insurance, there may come a time when that coverage runs out. It might not cover continued maintenance or future procedures such as surgery, so take that into account in your calculations.
These three steps should allow you to regain some semblance of stability following your accident. The sooner you can get back to stable living conditions, the sooner you’ll be able to plan out your next move, such as getting a new job or starting a business.