When we’re kids and we hurt ourselves, we obviously feel pretty rotten on account of our boo-boo.
Once we’re adults though, injuries can be even more troubling with the financial impact they can have.
If you’ve had a serious injury, here’s some of my best advice for minimizing the huge financial blow that can come with it.
Get a second opinion.
Obviously if you’ve hurt yourself badly enough for it to be called an “injury”, you will have seen a doctor who told you all about the condition you’re in.
However, if it looks like your injury is going to take you out of work or have some other big financial implication, it’s important to make sure you understand it as thoroughly as possible.
If there’s any doubt about the nature of the injury, how long you’ll take to recover, and any limitations that you’ll have to deal with in the healing process, then I recommend seeking a second opinion. The more you know in the early stages, the easier it will be to understand your position and make financial plans for the future.
Make sure you’re doing everything you can to help along the recovery, such as getting the recommended rest or going to physical therapy.
Talk to your boss.
Once you’ve done all you can to find out about the details of your injury, your next step should be talking to your employer about the impact it’s going to have on your work.
If the doctors say you’re only going to be out of action for a short while, then you’ll probably be able to negotiate a leave of absence.
This will allow you to get the recommended rest, and collect part or all of your paycheque.
Depending on the work you do, there may even be some way for you to work from home and therefore take minimal financial strain.
The HR manager at the company you work for is generally the best person to go to for discussing your options.
If you’re particularly unlucky, your boss’s hands may be tied, and they may ultimately have to let you go. This is where it becomes worthwhile to hire a professional personal injury attorney, or look into assistance programs, which brings me onto my last point…
Find out about disability insurance.
If it turns out that you’re not going to be able to work for several months, or even longer, then the next step should be looking into your disability assistance options.
If you’re lucky, you will have been under a private disability insurance plan run by your employer long before the injury actually happened. Ask your HR manager if you have it.
Of course, you’re not going to be able to make a claim if you purchase the insurance after the injury. However, it may be a good idea to take the experience as an eye-opener, and buy disability insurance for your spouse, children etc.
Many of these policies will cover lost income for a year or longer after the injury occurs.