Despite our best efforts, it’s not possible to live in a world that’s completely accident-free. When an accident does occur, there’s a financial cost. The cost comes in various forms, some direct and others, indirect. Some post-accident expenses are a one-off while others are more long-term.
Often, the at-fault party is not the person who bears the financial brunt. Ergo, understanding all the probable costs in the aftermath of an accident is crucial to filing the right and most comprehensive claim. Working with an accident lawyer will certainly help you map out all the different and complex angles you need to consider.
Here’s a look at the key types of costs after a motor vehicle accident.
1. Healthcare Costs
Healthcare costs are the most immediate and prominent expenses incurred following a car accident. These costs include emergency on-site stabilization procedures, ambulance rides, medical tests, imaging scans, emergency room treatment, surgeries, medication, medical devices, doctor visits, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and medical monitoring.
You also have to deal with the intangible health concerns such as the mental trauma that result from the accident. This may require counseling and therapy in the medium- to long-term.
2. Repair of Personal Property
If you are involved in a car accident, then your car has likely seen substantial damage. Damage from a motor vehicle accident ranges from the minor dent caused by a fender bender to extensive damage that totals the car because it’s too expensive to repair. Irrespective of the scale of the damage, you have to spend money to repair the car or have to buy another one.
Your car is not the only personal property that may be ruined following a car accident. Depending on the location and nature of the crash, there could be damage to your fence, garage door, landscaping assets on your lawn, gardening equipment in your backyard or an item that was in your car at the time of the accident.
3. Legal Costs
If you are going to contract a lawyer to oversee your claim process, it will cost you. Some attorneys will levy no fee until the claim is won. Others will require you to pay upfront so they can initiate the process.
Overall, how much you pay the attorney will depend on various factors including the nature of the case, the profile of the person or institution you’re claiming compensation from, the length of litigation and the experience of the attorney.
4. Loss of Employment and Wages
Employers are expected to take reasonable steps to accommodate the changed physical circumstances of a recently injured employee. Of course, the employer is not under obligation to keep you on their payroll in perpetuity.
In more serious accidents, the extent of the injury could make it impossible for you to contribute meaningfully in any role at your existing workplace. The resulting loss of employment will be a huge disruption to your personal income.
5. Cost of Career Change
Your current employer could redeploy you to a different role within the organization if your injury makes it difficult to effectively execute your previous designation. This might mean a radical shift in your career path.
You’ll have to learn the nuts and bolts of the new role. That may require you to enroll in a professional course or pursue a new degree. All this will be an expenditure that you otherwise wouldn’t have incurred were it not for the accident.
6. Rising Premiums
Car insurance companies don’t require the same amount of premium from all customers. Like interest rates on bank loans, insurance premiums are partially based on the risk profile of the client. The better your driving record, the better your odds of obtaining a favorable rate. The number of accidents you are involved in is considered a measure of your capability and care as a driver.
No insurer would dare grant a favorable rate to someone who’s involved in a dozen crashes a year. So in the aftermath of an accident, and depending on the laws for the state you are based in, your premiums could go up substantially.
Many people greatly underestimate the cost of a car crash. Even a minor motor vehicle accident where all parties walk away unscathed can culminate in large financial costs that are far greater than all parties envisaged. The better the grasp you have of the likely costs that will follow, the better your chances of transferring these costs to the insurer and at-fault party.