How Economic Stresses Can Make Life Harder for Personal Injury Victims
The COVID-19 crisis has been a disaster for the American economy. One in five American workers is receiving unemployment insurance. The federal government has authorized Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to individuals and businesses for over $510 billion. The Federal Reserve Bank has promised to keep interest rates near zero through next year to keep the economy from stalling.
These financial woes can fall especially hard on personal injury victims. Consider health insurance. After all, as a personal injury victim, you could easily lose your job and thus your health insurance since most Americans get their insurance through their employer. And if you were on someone else’s health insurance, you have to worry that they keep their job.
As a personal injury victim, your health insurance options can be few if you lose an employer-based plan. You can take your chances on the health-care exchanges to get covered under the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. You could shed assets and income, spend down to poverty, to qualify for Medicaid, the federal-and-state health care program for the poor. All of those options can be nerve-wracking
Now think about loans you may have. The Federal Reserve Bank is anticipating a big hike in mortgage defaults. That’s bound to fall more heavily on personal injury victims who will have a tough time making up the income to keep up with monthly housing payments. Look at other loans, such as car loans. For 60 percent of Americans, transportation is their second-highest expenditure. There are 116 million car loans outstanding. That’s a higher number of loans than mortgages and the dollar total of car loans is $1.3 trillion –a lot more than student debt. The predicted increase in car loan defaults is going to make it tough on all borrowers to get bank approval but it will add extra stress for personal injury victims who are likely to see their credit score drop, bills mount, and income dwindle.
Then there’s health care costs, a constant problem for personal injury victims. Normally prices stabilize or slow down during a recession, But medical costs are not going down. Let’s start with treating COVID-19 itself should you fall ill. Some 15 percent of cases end up requiring hospitalization where the median cost of a 96-hour stay with ventilator treatment runs close to $90,000. COVID aside, overall health care costs continue to soar. Employers are reporting premium rate increases of 3% to 4.5% for 2021 from major insurers. Insurers worry that delayed routine care because of the virus–colonoscopies, mammograms, and the like–will result in still higher prices next year.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
So, what’s the right thing to do during these difficult times? Assessing your finances is more important than ever and understanding all the ways the COVID-19 crisis can hurt you financially as well as medically.
If you have been injured in an accident and are unsure what could be compensated, contact McCraw Law Group. We can help by explaining your options.