How to Protect Your Family After a Life-Altering Injury

If you suffer a catastrophic injury or illness, it’s important to have protection in place for your family. A life event that permanently prevents you from performing any gainful work can cause a massive loss of income. Combined with the long-term medical bills from a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, the loss of income can put serious stress on your family. You need plans to make the best use of your resources to keep your family afloat in a catastrophe.

Reduce your debt as much as possible

Plan for potential illness or injury by keeping your debt payments low enough that you can manage them on a reduced income. Put away enough funds to carry you through a three to six-month illness or loss of income. Having a cushion can help your family get through the immediate crisis before having to make changes.

Get the best health insurance you can afford

Good healthcare coverage can help bridge the gap when an accident occurs. Many people who are relatively healthy and under 30 years old choose a high-deductible plan with low monthly payments. That means, for the most part, you’ll pay for regular health care out of pocket, and the policy would only kick in once you exceed a certain amount. A policy like this allows them to put aside enough funds to create an emergency fund. A catastrophic insurance plan provides lifelong coverage to those who suffer severe injuries and have more than $90,000 in medical bills.

Purchase short-term or long-term disability

Long-term disability is a type of insurance that protects you if you are unable to work because of an extended illness or injury. Some people call it income replacement insurance because it’s designed to replace your income while you can’t work.

These policies generally kick in after three to six months and pay about 50% of your salary until you’re back on your feet or you retire at 65. Although a half salary will still impact your lifestyle significantly, the steady income will help transition the family through any necessary changes.

Check your life insurance to see if it covers your catastrophe

Not all life insurance policies automatically cover accidental death and dismemberment. It’s usually a rider to a health insurance or life insurance policy. If your catastrophic injury falls under the coverage of your unintentional death or dismemberment policy, then you can apply the proceeds of the policy toward your lost income or medical expenses.  

Consider an injury lawsuit

A catastrophic injury will have huge financial implications on your ability to work and your family’s ability to care for you. Personal injury lawyers can review your situation and help you determine if the catastrophic injury or illness was caused by negligence or a dangerous product, or similar circumstances.

A catastrophic injury lawyer can help recover compensation for the damages experienced, including lost wages, permanent disability, and medical bills. Each state has specific legislation, so be sure you consult with a law firm licensed to practice in your state. For example, in Southern California, it makes sense to consult with Orange County injury lawyers, so you receive enough compensation to allow you to seek high-quality medical care and maximize your future abilities.

Create a web of support systems to deploy when you need them

Even those with good health insurance and an emergency fund may exceed their ability to cover the costs associated with long-term assistance and rehabilitation. When you combine medical bills with the loss of wages, it can make a dramatic impact on your ability to provide for your family. Luckily, you may already have a few of these safety nets in place. If you have a missing layer, research the best programs and get them in place.