A serious physical injury in an accident almost always causes significant financial harm to Maryland victims and their families. This is not to mention the emotional and other non-economic harm victims and their families face.
Even if a victim has good health insurance, which is certainly not a given, there are many other out-of-pocket expenses the victim may have to cover. For example, the victim may have to pay for rehabilitation, ongoing treatment and personal care.
After a debilitating injury, victims may have to buy special equipment or re-outfit their homes. Overall, the bills can be astronomical.
Serious injuries also can permanently sideline a breadwinner from the workforce. Even a lengthy recovery of months or years can cost a family hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income.
Marylanders with serious injuries can take many legal paths
Someone who has suffered an injury has a number of legal options that could help them financially:
- If another person or business is legally responsible for their injury, they may be able to file a personal injury claim with the right insurance company or sue the responsible party in Maryland court. This option allows victims to recover full compensation, including non-economic damages. On the other hand, the victim will have to prove their case and will also have to actually collect the compensation.
- A victim could consider filing for bankruptcy protection. This may help a victim take care of medical bills and other bills related to their injuries. However, the point of bankruptcy is to discharge debt, but not to replace lost income or cover ongoing expenses.
- If the injury is work-related, the victim may be able to receive compensation for lost income and medical bills through Maryland’s workers’ compensation The law caps the amount of compensation, and work comp does not cover non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
- If the victim suffers a disabling condition that lasts for at least 1 year, they may be able to receive benefits through the Social Security Administration. While this income is helpful, the Administration awards it based on set formulas, regardless of how much replacement income a victim needs.
Not all of these options are right for every situation, so a victim should discuss their legal alternatives at the earliest opportunity. Sometimes, it may even be advisable to pursue more than one of these options.