If you have been involved in an auto accident, then you already have a lot of things to worry about — the legal hassles of determining who is at fault and whose insurance is going to cover what sorts of damages can be overwhelming. Add in some sort of injury, and you’ve got the makings of a legal nightmare. But what happens if the injuries sustained in an accident are severe enough that they actually make it impossible for you to go back to work?
In situations like this, you might be wondering what financial options are available to you — specifically if you are able to collect unemployment since you are not able to work. That’s actually not as easy of a question to answer as you might think. That’s because of the nature of unemployment benefits. You see, unemployment benefits were established to help people who are aren’t working, but who are willing and able to work. A person collecting unemployment must also be actively looking for work. So, if a person is laid off, through no fault of his or her own, but is out there trying to find a job, unemployment payments would be available to help them make ends meet until a new job was found.
With an auto accident, however, you might find yourself out of work for several different reasons. It is these reasons that would determine whether or not you could collect unemployment. If the auto accident left physically unable to work, then you would not meet the “willing and able” part of the unemployment criteria. Instead, you would be eligible for disability insurance. Of course, in addition to that you would also be dealing with insurance and everything else. In other words: a LOT.
If the reason you are not working after the auto accident is not injury-related, but because you lost your job in the meantime due to being let go, then that’s a different story. Even if you sustained an injury or two in the collision, if those injuries are not serious and you are still able to work, then unemployment would definitely be an option you could consider at this point. This is because you would meet all the criteria: out of work through no fault of your own, willing and able to work and looking for work.
Keep in mind that if you do secure unemployment benefits, the regular North Carolina laws would apply. For instance, you must be actively looking for work, and you must accept anything position that comes along that is deemed to be suitable to your work history and expected earnings. While you can afford to be a little picky at first in order to help you find a job that matches your skill set, after a ten-week period, any job offer that comes along and offers over 120% of your unemployment benefit amount must automatically be accepted.
So, while it is possible to collect unemployment after being involved in an auto accident, it really does depend on a variety of factors,. If you are injured and unable to work, however, then you probably need to consider looking into disability payments. If you can work, but the accident caused you to lose a job, then unemployment is an option that is available to you until you can work and get back on your feet again.
Of course, whether it’s disability or unemployment, that plus the added headache of an insurance company means you are going to need a strong legal team on your side. If you are in this situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!