Do Car Accidents Affect Credit Score?
Being injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver's negligence can negatively affect many aspects of your life. In addition to the physical, financial, and emotional losses you experience as a result of that other driver's lack of care, there is collateral damage to consider, and one form of this can be your credit score. In the end, the answer to do car accidents affect credit scores is that – yes, the secondary financial effects of a car accident can negatively affect your credit score. Learn how to protect your car accident claim, your recovery, and your credit score by reaching out to the experienced Tennessee car accident attorneys at Labrum Law (615-338-9500) today.
Considering Your Car Accident
You have been injured by another motorist's carelessness, and the losses (or legal damages) you incur as a result can include all the following:
- Extensive medical expenses, which may include secondary healthcare concerns that lead to ongoing medical bills
- Decreased income associated with time lost on the job and to any loss in your earning potential into the future
- Physical and psychological pain and suffering that can be especially burdensome and difficult to rise above
While you face medical bills with no end in sight – in addition to a decrease in earnings – your financial situation can take a serious hit. This confluence of financial burden can make keeping up with your regular bills next to impossible, and there are other costs to consider, including a potential hike in your car insurance rates, the cost of renting a car while yours is being repaired (or of purchasing a new car if yours is totaled), and so on (the list could go on). While being in a car accident is not an event that is reported to any of the three national credit bureaus (as defined by the Federal Trade Commission), it can, nonetheless, affect your credit score.
Protecting Your Rights and Your Credit Score
You have been injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent driver, and while your claim is pending, you face considerable financial drains that may feel like they are coming at you from all angles. The best way to help protect your credit score (as defined by the federal government) from the outset is by protecting your car accident claim, which translates to working closely with one of the experienced Tennessee car accident attorneys at Labrum Law who are well prepared to help in all the following ways:
- We will help you better understand the accident claims process and help you make the right decisions for you as your move forward with your case.
- We will gather all the evidence relevant to your car accident claim in our focused efforts to build your strongest claim. This generally includes gathering eyewitness testimony, the police report, and more.
- As necessary, we will have any accident models created and will hire any expert witnesses necessary to fortify the facts of your accident claim.
- Although your car accident claim is very likely to settle out of court, we will be prepared to file a lawsuit and take your case to court if the car insurance company that is handling your claim refuses to negotiate fairly.
By protecting your car accident claim early on, you help to ensure that, in your case, the answer to do car accidents affect credit scores is no, they do not.
Addressing the Matter of Your Medical Bills Directly
If your medical providers are coming after you for payment in full – or you are worried they will – there are direct steps you can take to help protect your credit score.
Discuss the Matter with Billing
The first order of business when it comes to protecting your credit score in relation to a car accident is being proactive. Speak directly to the billing department at each of your medical providers and request they bill your health insurance company directly. If they raise questions about your expenses being related to a personal injury claim, inform them that there is no such exception on your health insurance coverage (if this is not the case, you may need your car accident attorney's intervention). It is also important to point out to the billing department that there is no way of guaranteeing that your claim will successfully settle (or receive a court award) and that your credit score is being harmed in the process. Many doctors and medical facilities will be more than happy to work with you and to bill your expenses through your insurance provider.
Have Your Attorney Make the Call
If the billing department is not willing to work with you regarding your accident-related medical bills, a call or letter from your attorney may motivate them to dig deeper. Hearing from your attorney can add gravitas to your request and may help your medical providers see reason.
Put Your Medical Bills on Hold
Even if the billing departments in question are willing to work with you, you will likely still face considerable copayments and expenses that come directly out of pocket, and these can add up quickly. Fortunately, there is another option that is called a letter of protection (LOP). An LOP is a formal letter from your attorney that officially notifies the medical provider of your pending legal claim and the expectation that your claim will settle or that you will receive a court award. This letter works as an official request that the provider put your pending bills on what amounts to a hold until your car accident claim is ultimately resolved.
Consult with an Experienced Tennessee Car Accident Attorney
If you are in a situation in which the question of do car accidents affect credit scores concerns you, the very capable Tennessee car accident attorneys at Labrum Law are standing by to help. Your claim is important, so do not put off reaching out and contacting or calling us at 615-338-9500 for more information today.