John Price Law Blog

The Actual Costs of an Auto Accident

Each year, car accidents cost Americans over $432 billion in lost wages, medical bills, legal fees, property damages, and other related expenses. In the United States, over 27,000 accidents occur daily and over 10 million car crashes are reported annually. In addition to causing stress and psychological trauma, car crashes can place a heavy burden on your finances. Whether you are involved in a minor fender-bender or you total your car, here are five ways auto accidents affect your wallet.

Medical bills

While approximately 40,000 Americans were killed in auto accidents last year, an estimated 4.6 million were injured. The injuries from car collisions can be devastating and often require trips to the emergency room or a visit to the doctor. Ambulance rides can cost up to $1,000 or more depending on your insurance, the duration of the trip, medical services needed, and other factors. Medical bills are often one of largest expenses associated with auto accidents, but the fees don’t stop there.

Higher insurance premiums

You may see an increase in your insurance premiums after even a minor car collision. Insurance rates are calculated based on your perceived risk, meaning that a traffic ticket or fender-bender can dramatically increase your rates. If you owe money in car loans, your insurance will pay out the cash value of your car when you total it. However, if the amount you owe on your car is more than its cash value, you will have to pay the difference. If you haven’t put down or paid off a significant amount on your car, consider taking out gap insurance before the accident occurs. Gap insurance will protect you against paying off a totaled car.

Property damages

Car repairs can be costly, but if the accident involved damage to another party’s property, prepare to pay even more. Without comprehensive or collision insurance, you may be responsible for paying for car repairs or a new vehicle. Even with insurance, you’ll still have to pay the premiums which are generally higher for better plans. A lawyer or representative from your insurance company may help determine who is responsible for paying for property damages.

Lost productivity

Court cases, doctor appointments, and emergency room trips all cost money. Even if your insurance covers the cost of medical bills, you may still suffer from lost wages. If you are paid hourly, you could miss out on days or even weeks of work, resulting in lost income that is hard to recover. Car accidents are often responsible for holding up traffic, especially during rush hours. Missing appointments or arriving late to work due to auto accidents decreases overall productivity.

Car rentals

Many people need cars to commute to work, the grocery store, school, and countless other places. If your car has been totalled in an accident or is in the shop for repairs, you may be without a vehicle for some time. If you are previously signed up for rental reimbursement coverage, you won’t need to worry about the cost of the rental. Alternatively, if you were the victim of an accident, the other driver’s insurance will cover the rental car. However, if you are without insurance or if you were at-fault, you will likely have to pay for the rental vehicle.

At the John Price Law Firm, we want you and your loved ones to travel safely on the road. We recommend never driving under the influence, avoiding distractions when behind the wheel, and obeying traffic laws. In the event of an auto accident, contact our team for compassionate, experienced representation at (843) 552-6011.

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