Disability after a car accident is something that people know is there for them in theory, but when and should you actually apply? Although disability largely falls under another section of the law rather than personal injury, it goes hand in hand with car accidents that have brought on serious damage and injuries.
Anyone, or any victim, that won’t be able to return to work after a wreck should explore options for staying as financially stable as possible. You may have a doctor or your entire medical team tell you that returning to work is unreasonable and unsafe.
So how can you provide for your family during that time? Many victims turn to disability after a car accident through the state and short term insurance if they have it.
If you find yourself in this situation, an experienced car wreck attorney in Atlanta, Georgia can help.
Identifying if Your injuries Qualify You for Disability After a Car Accident
The injury itself will not decide if you qualify for disability after a car accident or not, instead of the need for rehabilitation, surgery, and continued medical need will be the deciding factor. For example, not everyone with a TBI or traumatic brain injury will need to be out of work for months.
A TBI could simply be a concussion, and the person could likely go back to work a few days later. However, another TBI case could result in the person needing to relearn how to read, write, and other basic daily functions.
Your medical team, doctor, of the person assisting you at the hospital, should provide you with information on how long you should stay out of work. This issue may be part of an ongoing discussion, and they should relay any of their decisions to your Atlanta car accident attorney. That way, you and your attorney can evaluate how much work and income you’re losing because of the wreck.
Severe Trauma, Life Changes, and Disability After a Car Accident
Brain trauma through Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI is among the more common issues that people face during a severe crash. TBI can come on suddenly or be an invisible injury for months, but the result is almost always the same, the victim needs weeks, months, or even more than a year off of work.
Other traumatic injuries that can leave people out of work for a year or more include loss of limb, joint damage, and internal damage such as bleeding or injury to vital organs. These issues don’t come out of minor fender benders. Instead, you should expect these injuries to fit into more severe accidents that take place at high speeds or where your vehicle was stopped at the time.
Any time you have significant life changes that limit your ability, you should pursue the option of getting on disability. Even if you’re not sure if you fully meet the requirements, it’s better to apply and find out than allow your bills to pile up unpaid.
Georgia Disability Requirements
To meet the basic requirements for disability after a car accident in Georgia, you need to expect to miss at least 12 months of work and be over the age of 18. Even in those scenarios, however, you may not be approved or receive the maximum amount possible through Social Security Disability benefits.
When building your application for disability after a car accident, you’ll need to work with your medical team. They will be able to deliver a clear picture of your recovery timeline and how long it would take for you to perform all of your job functions and return to work.
Unfortunately, they don’t take into consideration things such as how you feel emotionally, so proving that you need time off work for a mental recovery may be difficult.
Will You Be Out of Work for That Long?
Most people will not be out of work for more than 12 months, but your medical team may expect you not to be able to return to work for that long. The example of Traumatic Brain Injury above can shed some light on the rehabilitation and recovery processes that could take more than 12 months.
Even those who don’t enter a coma, vegetative, or minimally conscious state may take up to 2 years to reach a level of normalcy in daily life. Although doctors always expect a vast improvement in the first six months, after two years of rehabilitation, about 30% of TBI survivors still need assistance at some time.
Loss of Limb and Other Injuries that Make it Impossible to Return to Work
If you were a professional driver and lost one or both arms, you may have to evaluate a different career path or take months to relearn your trade. Additionally, a cosmetologist losing specific fingers may not have the option of returning to their work. That sort of devastating information can result in someone being on disability longer because they’ll need to learn a new trade.
Someone losing a career because of a car accident is not as uncommon people might think. The result is that many people must work with their attorneys, medical team, and a vocation rehabilitation program. Using multiple resources together can help you enter a new field or reenter your field in a new capacity.
Can You Plan Your Medical Recovery For the Next 12 Months?
It’s hard for medical teams to look that long into the future, so many doctors will provide an expected recovery date for far longer into the future than what they hope for. A doctor may state that your recovery could take 16 months or more, but in working with them daily, their goal could be nine months.
Discuss Disability After a Car Accident With Your Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney
Car wreck law firms in Atlanta help their clients manage all variety of issues in their day to day life during recovery. For those who have experienced extensive trauma or may not be able to return to work because of another factor, then you need to seek out additional means of support.
For example, if you were in construction but lost a limb during a wreck, you may never be able to return to that field of work. Or, you may need extensive rehabilitation and time with a prosthetic to return in the same capacity.
It’s absolutely critical in cases as severe as these that you get legal aid. During your crash recovery, a local Atlanta car crash lawyer can help you explore what resources are available while you focus on your recovery.
Working with The Weinstein Firm can take the stress off of handling your claim, negotiations, and plans to go to court so you can focus on the things that matter most to you and your family.