Personal Injury Lawyer Dothan Talks About The Financial Impact of Car Accidents

car crash

Luckily, you survived a car crash. Now, you need to face reality and what happens next. Many questions come to your mind, and part of that is, “How much would this accident cost me?” 

Sadly, even if both you and the other party involved in the car accident have insurance, you still need to shell out cash and pay a deductible. There are certain expenses that might not be covered in your insurance policy. An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Dothan will be able to explain the uncovered expenses.

It’s common for accident victims to underestimate the total cost of a crash. As a result, you make unwise financial decisions such as accepting a low settlement from the insurance company. Most importantly, you might choose not to file a personal injury claim against the liable driver. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you estimate the most accurate cost.

The Facts

Way back 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that a car accident happens every minute of the day. From a highway pile up to a parking lot fender bender, someone is having a motor vehicle accident every minute. This is partially the reason why a personal injury lawyer is needed.

According to the U.S. Census, there have been over 10 million motor vehicle accidents every year since 2009. That’s an estimated 27,000+ accidents per day that cost Americans $871 Billion a year in: time loss from work, property damage, medical bills, and other expenses.

Debt from an accident is a major reason why a personal injury lawyer is needed. A personal injury lawyer is there to help you get back on your financial feet after suffering emotional, physical, or physiological injuries.

The Cost of Damage

Insurance Premiums – Expect a hike in your car insurance premiums.

In some states, auto insurance companies can increase a policyholder’s premiums after an accident no matter who was at fault. 

In a recent study, we find out what the average increase in insurance premiums was after filing a claim. Their results showed that the average was 41% just for making one claim! If you are at fault for causing the accident you may also lose your good driver discount.

You need your car or truck to get around town so it has to be repaired as soon as possible. In typical car accidents the insurance of the driver who caused the accident should be the one to cover the bill for vehicle repairs. But, if the driver does not have enough comprehensive or collision coverage then you may be stuck having to pay for expensive parts and labor out of your own pocket.

Knowing what your insurance policy covers in dollar amounts is very important information to ask your insurance representative. That said, you can certainly expect an uptick in your premiums if you are liable for the collision. The increase in the premium depends on:

  • Your Insurance provider
  • The cost of your claim
  • The facts surrounding the accident

Therefore, this increase could be quite substantial and cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. If this happens, Compare quotes from auto insurance companies before your policy renews. Some insurers offer competitive rates to drivers with one crash on their record.

Most importantly, you get a discount simply for switching to a new provider.

Renting a Car

Repair shops may have cars and trucks ahead of your vehicle so you need to rent a car until it is finished. Insurance companies offer rental reimbursement coverage, or the insurance of the driver at fault covers the cost of a rental car. However, this may not cover the full amount of time that your vehicle is in the shop and may have to pay out of pocket for extra days. Insurance may also have dollar limits on what they are willing to pay for a rental car that may not fit your needs. For example, they pay for a mid-size vehicle but you need a van to carry the whole family. You will then have to pay the difference in price for the rental. That is not including the additional coverage that rental companies will offer you.

Medical Bills

Getting hurt or sick can be expensive. After a car accident, especially a dramatic one, a person may not have time to double check their insurance policy to see what medical treatments are covered while they’re rushed to the emergency room. It’s only afterwards that they see the huge bill for their unforeseen accident. Even minor injuries can result in unexpected medical expenses.

Even if the insurance company covers your healthcare expenses, lost wages, and vehicle damage, there are other costs that might arise after a crash. Alternative transportation, child care, home and vehicle modifications to accommodate any disabilities, and other expenses can add up quickly. Some insurance providers may not cover these losses. You can obtain the necessary funds by filing a Personal Injury Claim against the party who was liable for the crash.

A personal injury lawyer can be useful in all the above situations. An experienced lawyer can fight with your insurance company, or the insurance of the driver at fault, to potentially get them to pay up and cover medical costs.

Totaled

The most common mistakes a car accident victim makes is accepting a low settlement before they know the full extent of their damages. Besides the medical bills and vehicle repairs, lost income should also be considered. It is also important to consider future damages such as lost earning capacity and ongoing medical care. Overlooking these losses will take a huge bite out of your savings and possibly force you to file bankruptcy.

What happens if the car you took out an auto loan to buy is now totaled? An insurance company will typically pay out the cash value of the car or truck. However, if it’s not enough to cover the auto loan you’ll be stuck paying for a car you don’t own anymore. A lender doesn’t care what happened to the car, they just want the money you borrowed to pay for it.

There is such a thing as Gap Insurance, which is a specific type of coverage designed to cover the difference between what your auto insurer pays after an accident and what you still owe on it.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Dothan

Therefore the smartest step you take after a serious collision is to consult an attorney. Fortunately, most personal injury law firms offer free initial consultations. An experienced Personal Injury Attorney/lawyer will help you:

  • Identify all potential avenues for pursuing compensation
  • Calculate your damages
  • Help you negotiate with the insurance company for the highest possible settlement.

The most important thing is hiring an attorney. This will send a message to the insurer that you expect to be treated fairly and that you are ready to take the case to trial if they refuse to cooperate.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.