If you’ve been in a car accident, you know how overwhelming it can be to deal with insurance, figure out how you’re going to get around while your car is repaired, and recover from any injuries you’ve sustained as a result of your accident.
In addition to paying your deductible before your insurance kicks in to cover the cost of car repairs, other bills can creep up, making the aftermath of your car accident even more stressful.
Six Unexpected Car Accident Costs
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, medical bills can add up quickly. This is especially true if your initial medical exam shows that you haven’t sustained any injuries, but you have aches and pains that pop up in the days or weeks following your accident.
While some of your medical expenses may be covered by your current health insurance, others, such as chiropractic care and brand name medications, may come out of your pocket.
Time Off Work
When you’re involved in a car accident, you may need time off work to recover from your injuries. You may also need time off to manage to get to and from the mechanic for car repairs, or to spend time on the phone with your insurance company during business hours to hash out the details of the accident.
Even if you have paid time off to use to take care of these issues, that’s still time that could have been spent elsewhere. When you have to use paid time off to deal with the repercussions of a car accident, you’re taking away from personal or vacation time that you could have spent elsewhere.
If you live in an area that doesn’t have a stellar public transportation system, you’ll need to rent a car to get around. You’re not only paying for the rental car – you’ll also need to get to and from the rental car facility, and you’ll likely want to pay for insurance coverage if something happens to your rental car.
While your car insurance may cover some of the costs of a rental car, it’s unlikely that you’ll be covered for your loss of transportation costs for more than a few days. Even if your vehicle rental is fully covered, you’ll likely have to wait for your insurance company to pay up. This can result in tying up money out of your bank account to cover the cost of your rental car while you’re waiting to be reimbursed by your insurance company.
Vehicle Towing Services
If you aren’t able to drive the vehicle that was involved in the accident, you’ll need to pay for towing services to get your vehicle to the repair shop. You’ll also need to pay for transportation to get home from the repair shop and to get back to the shop to pick up your vehicle.
Towing fees can add up fast. When you’re stuck on the side of the road and you need a tow truck, it’s unlikely that you’ll spend time shopping around for the best deal – you’ll want the first company that can get to you quickly and safely. Fast, reliable tow truck service comes with a hefty price tag. Many towing companies charge a flat fee of about $100 for the first 10 miles, and then $1-$2 more per additional mile. If your accident occurs far from your preferred repair shop, towing fees can add up quickly.
Auto Loan Payments
Even if you aren’t able to drive your car, or it’s totaled and you need to purchase a new vehicle, you may still need to pay back your loan. If you have gap coverage through your insurance company, you may be covered for these payments. Failing to make payments on your auto loan (even though you’re covering your rental car and many other accident-related expenses) can be disastrous for your credit score.
Increased Insurance Premiums
A tough truth of car accidents: even if the accident wasn’t your fault, your insurance premium will likely increase. While some auto insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs, many do not. Even if you’re somewhat covered by accident forgiveness, having several accidents within a certain timeframe can still cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. Even a small increase – as much as $30 per month – adds up to several hundred dollars per year.
After a car accident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and unsure of where to turn for help. Working with a licensed attorney who understands the ins and outs of car accidents can be a smart move to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you haven’t already reached out to a lawyer, do so today.