Unexpected Car Accident Costs
A car accident can leave victims with a wide range of problems to deal with in the aftermath, including unforeseen car accident costs. In the best-case scenario, your vehicle might have some minor dings or scratches that will need to be repaired. In more serious accidents, your car may be totaled altogether, and you may experience significant physical injuries. You may think that the insurance company will pay for everything that you need, but many people are actually surprised to learn that there are some hidden car accident costs that may not be accounted for.
If your car has experienced major damage, it will need to be towed away from the scene. It could be towed to an auto shop to await the necessary repairs, or it could go to a salvage yard in the event that the vehicle has been completely totaled. Whether or not you will have to pay for this service depends on your individual auto insurance policy. Many companies offer roadside assistance for a small monthly fee that will cover towing and other emergencies like dead batteries and flat tires. Collision policies also typically cover towing services, but the charge will usually count toward the deductible of the total repair cost of your vehicle. Keep in mind that each insurance company is different in how they handle towing, so you should review your policy carefully to determine your actual coverage limits.
Minor auto body work can typically be completed within a couple of days, but more extensive damage can take significantly longer to repair. You will likely need a rental vehicle while you wait. If your car was damaged by another driver, their insurance company will usually cover the cost of the rental. However, the claim could take a few days to process, especially in cases when there is a question about who’s at-fault. You may need to pay out of pocket for your rental car while you wait for the insurance company to finish their investigation and process the claim.
If you need immediate medical assistance, you will be responsible for co-payments, deductibles, and any services received out of network. You can be reimbursed by the car insurance company after the claim has processed, but it could be a few days or more. Additionally, there may be cases where you will need ongoing treatment, like physical therapy, to fully recover from the accident. Depending on your health insurance policy, you will likely incur a co-pay for each visit. You should consider the costs of these expenses and make sure to include them in your claim.
Auto Loan Payments
In the case of a total loss, the insurance company will pay the depreciated value of your vehicle. If you are still a couple of years from its pay-off, this could leave you with thousands of dollars in debt to the finance company. If you don’t have gap insurance, you will need to continue your payments until the loan is paid in full. This can be frustrating for a vehicle that you don’t even have anymore, and it may become a financial hardship if you have to obtain another auto loan.
Higher Insurance Premiums
Many drivers experience higher car insurance premiums after a car crash. This is because a driver’s history is one of the main factors used to determine their auto insurance rate. If you are at-fault for an accident, you may notice a spike in your premium that results in hundreds of dollars in extra costs each year. Thankfully, if you are found not at-fault for the accident, your insurance rate isn’t likely to be affected.
Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have experienced injuries due to a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to suffer the repercussions on your own. Costs associated with an accident can begin to add up very quickly, and the sooner you act, the better it is for your case. Working with a lawyer is the best way to ensure your rights are protected and you get the compensation that you deserve.
Your Bakersfield car accident attorney can help you pursue monetary damages against the responsible party. Depending on your case, you could receive compensation for:
- Medical treatments: Your accident may leave you with one or more serious injuries. If you don’t get medical assistance at the scene, you should still visit a physician as soon as possible. They will provide a comprehensive examination and inform you of the extent of your injuries and what you will need to fully recover. This could involve surgery, prescriptions, a hospital stay, and follow-up care. Be sure to retain a copy of all of your medical records and expenses related to the accident to include them in your claim.
- Lost wages: Even a minor accident may require you to take a couple of days off work to deal with your auto repair and medical needs. If you are involved in a serious automobile crash, you may need to take an extended leave of absence to recover, or you may be unable to ever return to work in the same capacity as before. Whatever the case, your claim should account for any lost wages or future lost income for disabling injuries.
- Pain and suffering: Serious accidents can leave a lasting physical and emotional impact on a victim. The insurance company will try to pay you as little as possible for your pain and suffering, so you should work with your lawyer to maximize your chances of recovering compensation. The amount you could receive varies widely, depending on how severe your injuries are.
The Law Office of Kyle W. Jones represents the rights of car crash victims throughout the greater Bakersfield area. If another driver’s negligence resulted in your accident, we’re here to provide the help and guidance you need to navigate the claims process. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer for your case.