Needless to say, money is not the first thing on your mind when you lose a loved one. It’s a tough, traumatic experience that often comes as a shock. If you lose them in an accident — like a car accident or a workplace accident — it is sudden and jarring. It may take a long time to work through the emotions that you and your family are feeling.

However, at some point, you do want to consider the real financial impact of this incident. This may go beyond direct costs like medical bills and funeral costs, and could really impact your income.

Here are a few important facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • When looking at families headed by a married opposite-sex couple, nearly half (48.8%) included two working spouses.
  • In 6.8% of these families, the wife was employed while the husband was not.
  • In 19.1% of these families, the husband was employed while the wife was not.

No matter what your relationship looked like, you can see how drastic the change may be. Perhaps both you and your spouse worked, and now you have lost half of your income. That’s money that you counted on for mortgage payments, grocery bills, retirement savings and much more. Maybe you didn’t work and only your spouse did, and now you have all of those same bills with literally no income stream at all.

This puts you in a very tough financial position at a time that is already so hard in so many other ways. Make sure you know what legal options you may have to seek compensation.