Waiting for Your Truck Accident Settlement: Financial Survival Tips
Compared to the average vehicle-to-vehicle crash, the average vehicle-to-semi crash is even more severe. According to the Insurance Information Institute, semis weigh 20 to 30 times as much as most passenger vehicles. This means that most vehicle occupants have serious injuries to deal with after a large truck accident, and serious injuries often lead to more medical bills and lost time at work. Financial survival after truck accident becomes a very important issue.
Negotiate Payment Plans for Medical Bills
If your medical bills are too much to afford with or without health insurance, contact the providers that sent the bills. Explain your situation to work out a monthly payment plan or an agreement to pay later. When most hospitals and individual medical care providers understand that you are injured and have a hard time paying your bills while you wait for a settlement, they will generally work out an affordable payment plan with you.
Consider Lawsuit Loans for Financial Survival After Truck Accident
There are a variety of lending institutions that will work with plaintiffs who are expecting settlements. If you are considering one of these lenders and need information, the staff at Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo are prepared to help. The loan is similar to a pay advance. With this type of loan, a lender usually charges a fee and collects the balance when you get your settlement.
Ask for Utility Bill Assistance
In New Jersey, there are several utility assistance programs that are designed for temporary hardships and long-term needs of low-income families. If the injuries from your truck accident made you miss work and pay more for medical care, you will likely qualify for one or more of these programs. Also, some utility companies will work with you on a payment plan to pay off an outstanding balance in installments instead of paying the full amount. If you are a member of a church or another local organization that receives donations, you may also inquire about private assistance for utility bills.
Assess Monthly Expenses for Financial Survival After Truck Accident
If you have non-essential monthly expenses, consider cutting them temporarily. For example, you may have magazine subscriptions, extra cable or satellite channels, multiple movie streaming services or other expenses. Although it can be hard to give up these things temporarily, it may help alleviate some financial pressure until you get your settlement. Some of these service and product providers may be willing to temporarily suspend shipments or services, which will make it easier for you to resume them in the future. Also, you can look at your cellular package. There may be certain add-on costs that you can cut. Some cellular providers offer a discount for automatic payments or for staying below your data limit each month. Several other types of service providers also offer discounts for automatic payments. If you do not use those, contact any service providers that you use to see what discounts they have to offer.
Set a Strict Budget
When you do not keep track of your expenses, it can be easy to spend too much. Figure out how much you spend on food, gas, supplies, entertainment and monthly necessities. Set limits for each category. Try hard to stick to them. When you shop, plan your list ahead of time. Try to limit your driving as much as possible to stay within your gas budget. If you cannot stay within a reasonable gas budget, consider asking friends or family members for help with rides. There may also be local ride discount programs.
Consider a Credit Card
Accruing more debt may sound scary. However, if you have to choose between paying big late penalties for bills or paying them off over time, it might be less expensive to get a credit card with a no-interest period. If you have reasonable credit, you may qualify for a credit card that has an introductory period of no interest for a certain time frame. Look for one with a period that is more than a year. If you get your settlement in a reasonable amount of time, you may be able to pay off your balance before interest is assessed. However, this is not guaranteed. A no-interest card should only be a strategy to cover emergencies or costs that would otherwise come with stiff late penalties. Also, some cards give you cash-back bonuses if you must buy groceries, gas or other qualifying items with them.
Find Food Programs
There are some meal delivery programs for a limited number of qualifying people. If you do not qualify for such a service, you might be able to get food stamps. In our state, this is known as the NJ SNAP program. You will need to contact New Jersey Social Services to see if you qualify. If you do qualify, you will receive a specific amount of money each month to help you purchase food. This can help ensure that you eat more nutritious foods. For some people who qualify, having the extra assistance is enough to loosen up the budget to cover extra medical bills, medications or other expenses from an accident.
Look for Donated or Used Equipment
United Way has a comprehensive list of organizations that may be able to help you. There are also resources for caregivers, which may be helpful to any family members or friends who are caring for an injured loved one. If you need to buy a wheelchair or another type of medical equipment that you cannot afford, Goodwill is another place to check. You can often find second-hand medical equipment there. Also, some people have found medical equipment for free or for a reasonable price in free circulars that have ad sections. Facebook Marketplace and other social media selling platforms might also have second-hand medical equipment for reasonable prices.
Contact Human Services
In addition to accruing medical bills, many people cannot work and earn their regular income after a serious semi accident. If you need temporary disability payments and financial help, there are multiple options. The New Jersey Department of Human Services can help you find a variety of programs to meet your individual combination of needs. For example, if you sustained a brain injury during the accident, there are programs for special assistance. There are also mental health programs if you need counseling for nightmares or PTSD from the accident.
How Your Legal Team Can Help Your Financial Survival After Truck Accident
At RAM Law, we understand that financial stress can feel overwhelming. If you need help finding local financial resources in New Jersey, we’ll be happy to do what we can to connect you to what you need. While you manage your finances and living situation, we can manage every detail of your case and handle the communications and paperwork. We never cut corners that would jeopardize an optimal settlement for you, and we are familiar with trucking law. Our firm will work as quickly and efficiently as possible to help you get your settlement in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience and are here to be your advocates while you wait. If you’ve sustained truck accident injuries, please contact us for a free consultation with a trucking law attorney. You can reach us at (732) 247-3600. We have offices at 21 North Bridge Street in Somerville and 111 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick.