Every day, hundreds of people suffer serious and disabling injuries in auto accidents. If a careless driver struck you while walking in downtown Durham or Raleigh, you may be dealing with expensive medical bills on top of lost wages.

Losing income is likely detrimental to your family. Knowing what to do after a serious injury to provide for your family may take professional assistance. In the meantime, these tips may help.

Keep records of your lost income

First, gather proof of your lost income. Keep track of medical records, prognosis reports, paystubs and any letters from your employer. You will need evidence that the car accident put you out of work, and that you lost wages because of your injuries.

Calculate your losses

Find out exactly how much your injury will cost you in lost wages. Include the wages you missed during doctor’s appointments and recovery time, as well as any benefits or opportunities you might have missed, such as overtime pay. Then, calculate future lost capacity to earn by multiplying your daily wage by the number of days your doctor predicts you will be unable to work.

File a claim with the right insurance company

File your initial injury claim with the at-fault party’s carrier for the accident. North Carolina is a tort-based state. The at-fault driver will be responsible for repaying your medical expenses, lost wages and property damage repairs.

Request disability benefits through Social Security

While your insurance claim is pending, seek additional benefits to cover your missing income by applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income could cover most or all of your lost income.

Initiate a personal injury lawsuit

A lawsuit against the at-fault driver, an auto part manufacturer, the city or another defendant could result in greater compensation for your losses than an insurance claim alone. You may have grounds to bring a lawsuit if you suffered serious or catastrophic injuries, and if the driver was negligent or careless.