There should be no-one under the impression that getting into an accident on the road is anything less than a hugely disruptive force in just about anyone’s life. That said, even if injuries are slight or non-existent, even if your car is easily repaired, there are costs of an accident you might not have thought about. In this article, we’re going to look at those costs, obvious and not-so-obvious. We’ll also look at what you can do about them.
Let’s being with one of the most important obvious of risks in a road accident. The risk of injury is great even in small collisions. However, you might be tempted to believe that you’re okay if you don’t see yourself bleeding, experience no whiplash or see any serious injury to your bones. However, the truth is that the crash could have done a lot more harm that you’re able to immediately see. The Lehmbecker Law Firm makes a strong case for seeing a doctor after a crash regardless of how you feel. Any impact to the head could cause traumatic brain injuries that only get worse with time. Knee and shoulder injuries that seem passable at the time could grow to be just as painful.
The loss of earning power
A long-term implication that can be just as serious is how you’re able to keep yourself financially afloat after the accident. A lot of injuries might force you to take yourself out of work. A lot of workplaces have provisions for these events, but many of them will be unable to keep paying you for the duration of the time you need off. Especially if you’re dealing with extensive medical bills and legal costs, those losses of earnings can be catastrophic. It’s worth looking into any existing sickness and unemployment insurance and ensure that it’s going to cover you in the event of a car accident. If you have none, you should be careful about which you pick. Otherwise, you could think you have yourself covered only to find yourself discounted by a technicality.
Getting back on the road
If your car is taken off the road for a need of repairs, that’s going to be a cost in itself. Depending on how bad the damage is, you might have it written off or simply have to decide that it’s just not worth repairing anymore. But if you want to commute to work or keep driving for any other reason, you need to look at the costs of getting on the road while you’re waiting for your own car. To that end, you might have cover including a courtesy car, but those cars can come with caveats. For instance, you might have to use one of your provider’s approved garages and you can’t trust that you’re getting the best deal there.
The value of your car
If your car just needs minor repairs or it’s a car that you would rather get back on the road instead of buying new, you might assume everything is back to normal once you’re back behind the wheel of it. However, it would be a mistake to think that. The financial advantage of owning that car has been forever changed. Its value will most definitely have dropped. If you take a moment to think about it, the choice between a used car without an extensive repair history and one with a history of repair after an accident, you can see which car would be able to fetch a higher price.
How it changes your insurance
If you’re not able to properly find liability in another driver or you operate in a no-fault state, then the accident can have a huge impact on any future car insurance payments as well. Your insurance can as much as double. There are a few steps you should take to make sure that doesn’t happen. First, don’t think you can get away with not reporting any accidents you’re at fault in. You might take a hit by making the claim. But if you stay silent and another driver comes forward to with a lawsuit ready, your insurer might act on their own initiative and honor the agreement completely.
The legal costs
If you are able to find the one at liability, then you might be able to get most of the costs above covered. From medical bills and lost work to even the value lost in your car. Similarly, you will likely be able to get your legal costs covered. But that’s if you’re successful and only after what can be a lengthy process. When you start down the road of litigation, you need to see how well you’re able to budget for it. For instance, you might need to look at the different goals available in that litigation. You could agree to let your lawyer go aggressively in order to get the other side to settle quickly, or you could push for as long as possible to get the best payout possible. The longer the case keeps going, the longer those costs will keep running.
Your mental health after an accident is a factor that’s going to take some serious consideration. Trauma can have a huge effect on mental health. From depression to anxiety and even more severe. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of modern cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. The stress of the legal proceedings can also take a serious toll on people. A successful suit can help you seek some reparations for these mental damages. But you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself mentally and seeking counseling after an accident and during the fallout.
It’s important to fully grasp the implications of a car accident and the long-term effect they can have. Knowing them can help you better calculate the damages involved in any litigation and can help you prepare for some nasty surprises down the line. More importantly, however, they should give you even more reason to drive carefully on the road.