At Parrish DeVaughn, it’s our job to get victims like you maximum compensation for their accidents and injuries. We believe there are few things in life more unfair than having to pay out of pocket for medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related costs when you weren’t at fault. But for many people, getting a settlement check is just one of many steps when it comes to putting their lives back together.
As exciting as it can be to finally get your much-needed settlement check, you also may be stressed by the sudden windfall. Stories of people misusing or blowing through inheritances, lottery winnings, and settlement checks are commonplace, and you don’t want that to happen. However, you also have many pressing financial needs, and you may be unsure of which to tackle first. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone.
Get a Financial Advisor
When many people think of “financial advisor,” they picture someone who’s only available to the rich and famous to help them manage their millions. But in reality, financial advisors are important assets for just about everyone who wants to make the most of their income and their money. Just as you did research before choosing a law firm, you’ll also want to research the best financial advisor for you and your family.
After choosing a financial advisor, be sure to let them know your biggest priorities. For most accident victims, it’s paying off accident-related expenses right away, so that they can get their lives back to how they were before their injuries. But keep an open mind—in some cases, for example, it may be better to establish a payment plan with the hospital and invest the bulk of the money instead.
Avoid Making Big Purchases Right Away
It can be tempting to use a windfall to solve problems you couldn’t tackle before due to a lack of money. For example, if your vehicle was damaged and needs $2,000 worth of repairs, you may want to trade it in and get a brand-new car. But think twice before doing that! You may be better off simply repairing your vehicle and using the extra money towards other causes.
Financial experts are virtually all in agreement on one thing—don’t make big purchases right after you come into a large sum of money. It can be difficult to grasp how much money you now have on hand versus how much your current expenses are, and after your bills are paid, you may have less than you thought you did.
Save Some for a Rainy Day
Many settlement checks go above and beyond the expenses victims incurred as a result of their injuries. That’s because victims may get additional compensation for things like pain and suffering or even punitive damages. These additional funds can be financially life-changing, especially if your family was struggling to make ends meet before the accident.
It’s important for all families to have a savings fund of easily accessible money to cover at least six months of expenses. Whether or not you have enough left over after paying your bills to hit that milestone, it’s important to save as much as you can. Building up a buffer in case of layoff, additional medical bills, or other unexpected expenses can give you peace of mind in the months and years to come.
Invest the Money in Yourself and Your Loved Ones
For some injury victims, getting medical treatment only results in a “satisfactory” recovery from their accidents. They may still suffer from pain and disability, but they are considered well enough to no longer require hospitalization or frequent medical care. However, they may be unable to do the things they love or live with the same quality of life they had before their accidents.
If that describes you or your loved ones, it’s important to use the money to finance as full of a recovery as possible. That means looking into specialized treatment for all aspects of life, such as physical rehabilitation, counseling, job training, education, and more. Settlement checks can be transformative, and they can not only pay for your bills, but they can also put you on track towards a new, happy, and productive life.
If you need legal help, contact the Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn.