As a business owner, there are a number of ways an injury related to a car accident could affect your business. In addition to the legal developments that may arise as a result of an injury, you could be affected financially, emotionally, and psychologically.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), over 3 million people were injured in car accidents in the United States in 2016. Likewise, the economic impact of motor vehicle traffic accidents in the U.S. can potentially cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
Economic costs associated with car crashes include:
- Loss of productivity
- Workplace losses
- Legal and court expenses
- Medical costs, including emergency medical services
- Insurance costs
- Congestion costs
- Property damage costs
Like most people, business owners face unique challenges as a result of a car accident injury.
Legal Implications of a Car Accident
If you are injured in a car accident, you could potentially face a long legal battle. In some cases, car accident claims are resolved before a lawsuit is even filed. If a lawsuit is filed, many cases are settled before trial begins.
In the event your lawsuit does go to trial, you may need to take time away from your business to appear in court. Court proceedings can be time consuming, and there is no set time it takes to complete a case. Depending on the complexity of the situation and the severity of injuries, a car accident case can take months or even years to complete.
Ability to Work
Depending on the type of business you own, a car accident could affect your ability to run and operate your business on a daily basis. Physical challenges associated to any crash-related injury could make it difficult to perform the necessary duties to run your business. Additionally, the psychological and emotional impact of your injuries could potentially impair your ability to make sound business decisions and conduct day-to-day operations.
As the owner of a business, your role in your company could determine whether or not you see a dramatic loss in wages or productivity. Small business owners may face greater challenges than owners of larger companies or corporations. Taking time off could mean that someone else will have to run the business while you are away.
Certain factors will determine how much your injuries will cost you. The severity of your injuries will determine the type of medical care you will receive and how long you will need to continue to receive such care. Initial costs may include the cost of emergency medical services, follow-up appointments to the doctor, physical therapy, rehabilitation and other medical-related costs.
In some cases, you may not have the money right away, especially if you are waiting for a settlement or if your case is being tried in court. You could think about getting a loan to cover the costs up front while you are waiting. Loan repayment and interest rates could add to the costs you already face.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another, you can expect to receive medical bills. In most cases, the insurance companies involved will cover the costs. You might need to pay any co-pays or deductibles, depending on the type of insurance coverage you have.
These out-of-pocket costs could affect you initially, especially if you are waiting to resolve a legal issue with the negligent party’s insurance company. It is important that you know and understand your auto insurance policy and your health insurance policy in the event of an accident with injury.