Every year in Massachusetts, tens of thousands of people get into a car crash. Usually you only hear about the fatal accidents, but it’s important to note many victims end up with an injury. According to Massachusetts Department of Transportation statistics, there have been more than 33,000 non-fatal crash injuries in each of the past four years.
Any time you experience a significant shift in your life or financial situation, it’s a wise idea to review your estate plan. Here are three ways in which a car crash might do just that.
Medical bills for injuries
If you’ve been involved in a crash, you can sustain a wide array of injuries. Some will be minor, but oftentimes the issue will require at least some additional medical care. These bills for tests, specialist appointments and office visits can pile up even for moderate injuries. For a serious ailment – one requiring surgery, for example, or one that will impact your life for years to come – those bills can be staggering.
You might need to account for this in your estate plan, and make arrangements that will ensure you’re able to get the type of care you need.
Being unable to work
Similar to medical bills, a loss of income because you are unable to work for a period of time can be devastating. Any issues requiring procedures and operations might mean you are out of work for months, in addition to having to pay medical bills.
But consider another possibility: the injury means you will never be able to return to your previous work. This change in expected income can have a significant impact on how you plan for the future. You might want to make arrangements for a health care proxy, for example.
A personal injury lawsuit
In some crashes, a victim might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against another individual who caused the accident. If that lawsuit is successful, it may mean a large monetary award for the victim.
Much of this money will be used to help pay for damages, but you might also receive compensation for things such as pain and suffering. Knowing certain costly items are cared for means you have much more financial flexibility. This might change what you are able to do with your estate plan, requiring some thorough revisions.
If you’ve experienced a life change or a shift in your financial situation, and you want to revise your estate plan, consider speaking with an attorney. They can discuss options to help maximize your goals while making sure all documents are properly composed.