Car accidents can change everything in the blink of an eye.
What seems like a typical day can turn your world upside down, all due to a car accident.
Even minor accidents have the potential to have life-altering results.
Major accidents, though, can completely change your life, especially if you become permanently disabled.
From one day to the next, your life can do a complete 180.
You might need new medical equipment to accommodate your disability or attend therapy to regain as much movement and function in your body as possible.
You might even need mental health therapy to help adjust to your new life.
Your near future (and beyond) could be full of surgeries and medical expenses.
What can you do to be sure you get the care you need?
In the article below, we will discuss a few things you should consider.
Table of Contents
- Getting The Right Settlement
- Maximum Medical Improvement
- Social Security Disability Benefits
- Get Help From A Qualified Car Accident Attorney
Getting The Right Settlement
If someone else's negligence caused your accident, you will have more options for recovery.
In fault states, the insurance company for the driver that was at fault for the accident should pay for the other driver's damages.
Most car accident claims are settled before they ever reach trial.
When yours is settled, you will receive an offer from the other driver's insurance company.
You never want to accept the first offer they make you.
You shouldn't accept the offer too quickly because not only are you entitled to have your current medical bills covered, but you'll likely be able to cover future bills as well.
Maximum Medical Improvement
You should always wait for your maximum medical improvement, or MMI, before accepting any settlement offer.
MMI is the point at which you recover as much as the doctors expect you too.
Sometimes that is back to 100%, but if you've suffered a permanent disability, it will likely be much less than 100%.
You'll need to continue to receive medical treatment until your doctor is convinced you've improved as much as can be expected, given your disability.
Your settlement should cover more than your hospital bills.
Don't settle before taking all of these things into account.
The value of your settlement could be diminished if it is determined that you were partially at fault for the accident.
Some states will use comparative fault to determine what percentage of fault should be placed on each driver.
For example, if your damages total $100,000 but you were deemed 20% at fault, you will only receive $80,000 from the other driver's insurance company.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Once you've received your settlement and you've been fully compensated for your accident, you might face another problem: finding a job.
Depending on the type and severity of your disability, you might not be able to return to your old job or easily find a new one.
One option for people with disabilities who struggle to return to the workforce is to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
There are two types of social security disability benefits, disability insurance benefits (DBI) and supplemental security income (SSI).
Most people who have just received a car accident settlement won't qualify for SSI, so DIB will likely be your best option.
You must have a stable work history that shows you've paid into the Social Security system through taxes to qualify for DIB.
Applying for disability benefits is often a long, frustrating process, so be prepared for it.
It typically takes three to five months to be approved after filing your initial application, but most are denied.
If you decide to appeal, and you should, it will take another two to four months for a response, and you'll likely be denied again.
The final step, which requires a hearing, can take up to 20 months to receive in some states.
Getting approved for disability benefits is something you don't want to have to do, but is often necessary after you've suffered permanent disability from a car accident.
Get Help From A Qualified Car Accident Attorney
If you've been permanently disabled in a car accident, your number one priority should be your health.
You should let an experienced car accident attorney handle the rest.
The team at The Roth Firm has years of experience helping people just like you, and they are prepared to help you today.
To be sure you get what you deserve after your car accident, contact The Roth Firm today.