Getting into a car accident can be one of the most terrifying experiences of your life. Even when you aren’t injured, the incident can shake your sense of security. In fact, vehicle accidents are a common cause of post-traumatic stress disorder. When you’re processing the event, you shouldn’t have to deal with financial stress on top of everything else.
But car accidents do have immediate financial ramifications. It’s important to understand some of them so that you can manage the situation going forward.
You Have to Deal With the Damage to Your Vehicle
Even minor car accidents come with vehicle damage. If you’re lucky, you’ll still be able to drive your car without issue. But if you’re less fortunate, you’ll need to see a mechanic right away. The unluckiest people are those whose cars are totaled.
Repairs following a car accident can cost thousands of dollars, and a new car can cost even more.
The financial factors here will vary depending on your circumstances. If you aren’t at fault for the accident, you’re more likely to have coverage from the other driver’s insurance. If you have collision insurance on top of your car insurance, your policy may pay for most of the repairs.
You might be tempted to sell a totaled vehicle for parts. But if you haven’t paid the car off yet, you probably won’t be able to. You might even be responsible for the rest of the payments as well, despite the fact that the car is destroyed beyond repair.
Missing Work Can Have Serious Consequences
If you suffer an injury after the accident, you might not be able to get back to work right away. Even if you’re only away from work for a few days, the lost wages make a difference. The majority of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and absolutely cannot afford to miss a shift.
Even if you aren’t injured, you may miss work for reasons like:
• You’re bringing your vehicle to the mechanic or picking it up;
• You’re looking for a new car;
• You’re struggling to get reliable transportation while your vehicle is being repaired;
• You’re meeting with lawyers and insurance adjusters.
You might have a job with accrued paid time off. But many jobs are structured to offer as little paid time off to their employees as legally possible. Once you’re out of PTO hours, you are no longer compensated for missed shifts.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are worried about your financial security, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can consult with you to determine what kind of compensation you may be able to collect.
You Might Have Medical Bills
Medical bills are terrifying to a lot of Americans. Hospitals charge exorbitant amounts for testing and treatment, and follow-up care can get pricey fast.
The worst part is that the cheapest insurance plans cover the least amount of expenses. While that makes logical sense, it also means that the poorest people in the country will get higher medical bills than the richest by default.
Even if you aren’t injured, you might still have to pay medical bills. If you are brought to the hospital in an ambulance, you have to pay for the ride. If they give you imaging tests like MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans, you have to pay for all of those procedures even if you’re deemed healthy.
You Might Have Legal Fees
For those who aren’t at fault for an accident, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney who can file a settlement claim. For those who were at fault, you might need an attorney to advocate for you in court.