In a Car Crash? 7 Expenses to Expect after an Accident

Saturday, February 10, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Car crashes are jarring events that can leave a lot of physical and financial devastation in their wake.

Surprisingly, this is true even for minor collisions. This is why it’s important for all automobile owners to carefully consider the different costs that their likely to face.

Understanding the potential damages of a car crash is the first step in being able to effectively mitigate them.

Following are seven expenses to expect:

  1. Higher Car Insurance Premiums

    Whether you’re at fault or involved in an accident that’s absolutely no fault of your own, submitting a claim for a car crash can result in a significant hike in your insurance premiums.

    Some drivers can expect to pay as much as 41 percent more for their coverage.

    Moreover, if you’ve caused this event and have been using a good driver discount to keep your auto insurance costs low, you’ll probably no longer qualify for this deal.

    Fortunately, if you have a spotless driving record and are involved in a fairly minor accident, your premiums might not change at all.

  2. Medical Bills

    Medical expenses can mount quickly after these events. You might need a ride in an ambulance, and if the accident is a significant one, then you’ll definitely need emergency room care.

    Between follow-up visits and appointments with alternative health practitioners like chiropractors and massage therapists, spending in this area can easily spiral out of control.

    Fortunately, most or all of these costs should be covered by either your insurer or the insurance company of the other party.

    The bad news is that having multiple insurance companies involved means that it will likely take some time before liability for different medical expenses is fully sorted out.

  3. Car Rental Services or Other Options in Alternative Transportation

    If your car is rendered unusable by this event, you’ll likely need a rental car in order to get from place to place.

    Many comprehensive car insurance policies include provisions for rental cars. If yours does not, take the time to calculate how much you’ll have to pay to secure reliable, alternative transportation.

  4. Auto Repairs

    Ideally, car repairs will be paid for by your insurance company or the insurance company of the responsible party.

    Drivers who lack comprehensive insurance and protections against uninsured or under-insured motorists, however, often wind up paying these costs out of their own pockets.

    Taking your vehicle to a collision center is about far more than restoring overall auto aesthetics. Many of the services provided by these companies will play a major role in ensuring the continued usability of your car after it’s sustained a significant amount of structural damage.

  5. Ongoing Living Expenses

    Although normal living expenses are independent of car accidents, many people who’ve been in major car crashes have a hard time paying them.

    During the first several days or weeks of the recovery process, you’ll may need to miss time at work. Too much missed time can result in smaller paychecks, late payments on your personal bills, and a wealth of late fees.

    In addition to missing time on the job, you also have to account for missed professional opportunities. Depending upon the timing of your accident, you could be overlooked for a big project or a major promotion.

  6. The Remainder of Your Auto Loan

    If your car winds up being totaled out, your insurance company will probably pay you the actual cash value of your car, rather than the amount that it cost to drive your car off the lot.

    This means that there can be a significant difference between what your insurer pays and what you still owe your auto lender.

    One easy way to avoid having to pay this extra sum out of your own pocket is by investing gap insurance. This coverage is essential for all drivers who are still paying down their automobile loans.

  7. Legal Fees

    Most car insurance claims are not as cut and dry as people hope they’ll be. If you wind up needing legal help, you may be able to find a lawyer who is willing to take your case on contingency.

    Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for these services out of pocket and then factor your legal spending into your claim for future reimbursement.

Understanding the true costs of an auto accident can help you limit the financial effects that these events have on your life. Shopping for comprehensive coverage, investing in gap insurance, and working hard to maintain a good driver profile are some of the ways to mitigate possible expenses.

The more you plan in advance for the unexpected; the easier dealing with the aftermath of a car crash will invariably be.

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