In a perfect world, you wouldn’t get into an auto accident at all, but if you did, auto insurance would work the way it’s meant to. The other driver, who caused the accident in the first place, would have enough insurance to cover the cost of the accident. Even better, the insurance company would pay you what you’re owed.
But that’s not what happens. First, you have to fight with the insurance company. Then, you’re offered a small sum that barely touches your expenses as medical bills and other costs pile up. What kind of expenses? Here are just seven of them.
You can’t always tell how bad the damage to your vehicle is in an accident until after you get it to the mechanic. It looks like a small dent to you, but it may be thousands of dollars in damage. An axle might be bent. The engine my sustain damage. Repairs after an auto accident can easily reach a few thousand dollars. Even after the money is spent, your vehicle may never drive quite the same again.
While the cost for your damages can seen high, the costs soar if your vehicle is totaled out after an accident. Now you’ve got to buy a new car and you may still be paying for a previous auto loan. The payment you receive from the insurance company may not even be enough to pay off your loan. Now you’ve got to get a new vehicle you didn’t expect to need and you’re already upside down on the loan before you’ve driven off the lot.
It doesn’t matter if your car is in the shop or you’re waiting for a check to buy a new vehicle. Until then, you still need to be able to get to and from work. Renting a car isn’t cheap, especially if you need something larger than a compact car. Insurance may cover part of the expense but not all of it, meaning you’re out of pocket for the cost of a rental for days, possibly even weeks.
In some auto accidents, you know immediately that you need to see a doctor. You’ve broken a bone or you can’t move. Sometimes, you don’t feel any pain or injuries until later. The costs add up quick. An ambulance ride, a visit to the emergency room, x-rays, MRIs, surgery, copays and deductibles — one small accident can generate thousands in medical bills. The worse the accident, the higher your medical costs.
While lost wages aren’t technically an expense, they do represent money you don’t have. You didn’t spend it but you also never received it. Your injuries may be so bad you can’t work. All the visits to see doctors and specialists take you away from your job. You might have gotten into the accident on your way to work and missed a few days. Because of the accident, you can’t pay your bills or take care of your family.
Increased Insurance Premiums
This expense won’t hit right away, but when it does, it can be painful. Many insurance companies look for any reason to raise your premiums. Even if you weren’t at fault, your rates could go up if this isn’t your first accident or there are other factors involved. You won’t feel this expense right away, but when it’s time to renew your auto insurance coverage, you might. If you decide to switch providers, now it’s your time that’s being spent in the search, even if it’s not your money.
If the insurance company isn’t paying your expenses, or you’re owed more in compensation, you may need a personal injury attorney. Your attorney fees will be another in a long list of expenses. The good news is that the best attorney for you will offer a free consultation and not expect payment unless (and until) they win your case. With the right personal injury attorney, you can breathe a sigh of relief and know that you’ve got someone on your side.
Insurance should take care of you when you’re in an accident, especially one that you didn’t cause. The whole point of insurance is to help people get back on their feet after a crisis. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Auto accidents are expensive, and you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket long before you receive anything from an insurance company. Work with a personal injury attorney who will fight for you. At Ed Bernstein and Associates, we can help you get the compensation you deserve after your car accident.