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What if a car crash seriously injures a stay-at-home parent?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Car Accidents

Motor vehicle collisions can leave people with a variety of different expenses. Oftentimes, people worry about paying to repair a vehicle. If someone gets hurt, the cost of their medical treatment could be an issue. In fact, serious injuries might lead to lost wages, which can be another significant concern for those affected by a collision. Either motor vehicle liability insurance or a personal injury lawsuit could theoretically help someone pay for their hospital bills and replace a damaged vehicle. People can also make claims based on their lost wages.

Sometimes, the economic contributions of an individual to their family are unpaid contributions. They involve providing uncompensated labor for the family. It is common practice for one parent in the family to stay home full-time or to only work part-time to handle family matters. What happens if a primary caregiver incurs significant injuries in a car crash?

Unpaid household labor is valuable

People are very dismissive about the economic value of unpaid home labor. However, the services provided by a stay-at-home parent are actually incredibly valuable. If the family had to hire professionals to provide those same services, it could cost more than $170,000 per year.

Childcare, logistical support, cleaning, food preparation and other unpaid services provided by a family member can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per week if people rely on professional services. In a scenario where a stay-at-home parent incurs such serious injuries that they cannot continue caring for their children or handling other household tasks, the family could experience major financial setbacks. Thankfully, it is possible to recover those losses much like people seek compensation for lost wages.

How people claim unpaid services

To request compensation from an insurance company or the person who caused the crash for a loss of household services, people generally need to quantify the services provided. Creating a list of what tasks someone performs and how many hours per week they devote to those services is a good starting point.

Using that information, it is then possible to calculate the economic impact of someone’s injuries by determining what it might cost to outsource that labor. Requesting reimbursement for the loss of household services can lead to a very complex insurance claim. In some cases, especially when injuries are likely to leave someone unable to support the family for months, a lawsuit may be necessary. The total expenses of replacing someone’s unpaid labor could go well beyond what insurance covers.

Understanding the impact a car crash could have on a family may benefit those hoping to pursue compensation. Unpaid household services provided by stay-at-home parents can be as valuable as a salary in some cases, and this reality should impact their pursuit for damages accordingly.