When accidents happen, people’s lives can be turned upside down. Injuries can be expensive to treat, and may prevent people from returning to work, either because of temporary or permanent disabilities. This leads to a reduced income, which makes the ever increasing medical and legal bills even more difficult to pay.
In many situations victims are entitled to fair and sizable settlements from those at fault for the accident, but are unlikely to see any of that money before the bills begin to accumulate. In some cases a settlement may take years to be paid out, which is far longer than most creditors are willing to wait to be paid. Some attorneys help accident victims with this. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Southern California please contact me today for a free consultation. I am a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles who has recovered millions for my clients.
If for some reason compensation is not available
Fortunately, the modern crowd-funding movement has provided a potential solution for people who have fallen victim to personal injury. One of the most successful websites is GoFundMe, a site where people can create an account that details their hardships, and sets a goal for public fundraising. Links to this profile can be shared across social media with family, friends, and even strangers, who can then make donations, big or small, to help their cause.
Setting up an account is simple, as easy as any other social media platform out there. Names, email addresses, photos, and a written description of personal hardships are used to create a page where people around the world can choose to donate money. A fundraising goal can be set, which helps keep track of progress along the way.
Shortly after an accident, the total financial burden may be hard to conceptualize. But before long, the medical bills, legal bills, and lost wages begin to accumulate into a massive amount of debt. Extrapolating out just several months can reveal a shockingly large number, which may seem financially insurmountable. Each person’s accident and recovery is going to be different, so their GoFundMe goals may not be as large or as small as others, but that’s not a problem. Even if the goal isn’t met, users are able to collect a large majority of the funds donated by contributors.
Like any online service, there are operational costs that are incurred in the process of running the website. In order to keep offering their users a means of rebuilding their lives, GoFundMe collects a 5% fee with each donation. An additional 2.9% goes to WePay, the payment processing service provider. In total, about 92% of each donation goes directly to those asking, with the remaining being used to keep the business model running, allowing others to take advantage of the system in the future.
There are no hidden fees, either. Donors pay only what they wish to contribute, and not a penny more. GoFundMe contributions are safe and secure, and are sent via the same encrypted methods as online banking services.
Once an account has been created, and a goal set, there is no time limit or deadline by which the finds need to be collected. People are welcome to keep their profiles open as long as they wish, even after a goal has been met. Updates can be made along the way, too. As bills come in and get paid, as medical procedures happen, or as any measure of progress in rebuilding their lives, users are able to give feedback to those donating by showing them the positive affects that the donations have had.
One of the differences between GoFundMe donations and those given to a more traditional charity is that those giving money have complete control over who benefits from their donations, and how much they receive. Also, GoFundMe donations are usually treated like gifts to friends or family members, which aren’t tax deductible. The exception to this would be charities that operate through GoFundMe. This helps charity services keep their operating costs down, saving them from having to manage their own website and payment processing services, while still allowing donors to deduct their giving from their annual taxes.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, and is struggling to make ends meet, consider starting a GoFundMe page in order to collect from those all around the world willing to help.
If you would like help spreading the word of a GoFundMe for a car accident victim please feel free to email us the details and maybe we will have an idea on how to help you promote it.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.