4 Unexpected Costs of Car Accidents
In most cases, car accidents occur with little or no warning. However, even if the accident isn't your fault, it can still cause both physical and financial pain. After a crash, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical costs, car repair bills and legal fees.
Your medical bills could start to pile up even before you see a doctor. This is because you could be required to pay for the ambulance ride to the hospital as well as an admittance fee. Ambulance fees can be expensive. Other costs could include the fee to consult with a doctor or medication to help control pain or other symptoms after a crash.
It isn't uncommon for car repair bills to be $1,000 or more after an accident. Generally speaking, you'll pay more to repair parts that contain sensors or other electronic components. Private insurers are likely to cover only 50 percent of the claim. If the cost to repair the car is more than what it is perceived to be worth, your insurance company may decline to pay for repairs at all. Instead, it will simply send you a check for its market value at the time of the accident.
A broken back, sore neck or torn ACL may keep you out of work for weeks or months at a time. This may result in several missed paychecks, and your injuries could also make it harder to advance in your career. Often, the person who is liable for your injuries may be required to reimburse you for lost earnings as part of a settlement or jury award.
Fines and Other Financial Penalties
Let's say that you were suspected to be at fault for an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage. You could be given one or more citations for speeding, using a cellphone while driving or otherwise driving in a reckless manner. If the other driver files a lawsuit, you may have to pay legal fees and court costs on top of those fines.
A car accident can have an adverse short-term and long-term impact on your life. Therefore, it may be a good idea to review your current insurance policies to determine if they provide adequate financial protection for yourself and your family. If not, it may be a good idea to purchase additional coverage or reduce your deductible to better meet your needs.