Surprisingly, it’s all too easy for something like a car accident to derail a spotless credit history.
You might not even find out it’s falling until your credit card rates start rising or you get turned down for a loan.
The worst part is that it can dive through no fault of your own if you’re in an accident and end up in the hospital.
Credit score doesn’t reflect accidents
A car accident doesn’t directly affect your credit score. Your credit report doesn’t reference your driving records, and insurance companies don’t report car accidents.
But even responsible people who pay their bills on time can easily accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills from a fender bender. If you have to wait for insurance payments to resolve the medical expenses, your credit score can take a hit in the meantime.
Emergency care adds up quickly
Even when another driver is at fault for an accident, your emergency room visit can leave you struggling with outrageous bills.
Making financial decisions in the emergency room is difficult because it’s nearly impossible to find out what services cost and whether each provider is in-network for your plan.
The costs add up quickly from providers, medications, treatment and even facility fees for walking through the doors.
One visit to the ER can wreck your finances
Responsible bill payers have a right to expect a high credit score that makes them eligible for cheaper loans. But a personal injury can cause you to go into debt and wreck your credit score. It’s devastating to see your credit score damaged due to someone else’s negligent acts.
Unpaid bills cause your score to drop
It’s not always possible to pay off bills and await insurance reimbursement because even minimum payments can stretch you too thin. As the medical expenses remain unpaid, you’ll start losing points from your credit score.
Sometimes even negotiating a payment plan adds the debt amount to your credit score and affects your long-term prospects. In states like New Jersey, you are responsible for the bills regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
It’s best to contact a Newark Personal Injury Lawyer to recover the expenses before your credit suffers long-term damage.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible
A skilled lawyer can help you negotiate payment of the medical expenses and recover your credit score. In general, the sooner you get an attorney involved, the more they can help.
Instead of wrestling with medical bills and calling credit card companies, you can concentrate on recovering from your injury. An attorney can contact your credit card companies on your behalf to inform them of the situation and keep it from affecting your rates.
But even if you don’t contact them right away, attorneys can help. They’ll contact the credit bureau to resolve the situation and will factor the damage into the total monetary impact of the accident. In many cases, the attorneys will help you recover compensation lost.
Accidents damage more than your car
It’s hard to keep your credit score high if an accident results in huge medical bills. It would be nice if you were guaranteed good credit by paying all of your bills in full and on time, but an accident can derail even the best-laid plans.
Contact a personal injury attorney if you’ve been in an accident to see how they can help you get your life, and your credit, back on track.