The costs associated with seemingly minor car accidents can quickly add up.
Each year, there are over 10 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States. These accidents range from fender benders to multiple vehicle crashes on highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the total annual cost of auto accidents in the US is $871 billion. This includes the cost of property damage, medical bills, lost wages and legal expenses.
Serious car accidents typically cost more in terms of both medical expenses and property damage, but minor accidents too can be quite expensive. The average driver files an accident claim with the insurance company once every 18 years. Therefore the chances are high that everyone may get involved in at least one minor car crash during their lifetime.
Any car accident – even a minor one – can involve hidden costs that can create a huge financial burden for months or even years to come. The following are some of the big costs that can occur even with fender benders.
We all buy insurance to protect us in the event of injuries and property damage. However, if you are in an accident, your insurance premium will typically increase by an average of 41 percent. In case you are receiving a discount for a good driving record, you will likely lose this discount.
If you do not have adequate collision coverage, you might have to pay out of pocket for repairs. If you have collision coverage, you will still have to pay a deductible before the coverage kicks in. In order to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses, it may be a good idea to maintain an emergency fund for such repairs.
Your insurance company will pay the cost of a rental car if you have rental reimbursement coverage. However, if you do not have this coverage, you will likely have to bear these expenses. You can save on these expenses by using public transportation while your vehicle is being repaired. It is best to add rental reimbursement coverage to your insurance if you do not have it.
Even minor car accidents can cause some injuries, and even if there are no injuries, ambulances are called as a precautionary measure. These costs are covered by insurance, but it may take weeks for you to get these payments. In the meanwhile, these medical bills can pile up and impact your credit rating. If the insurance policy includes medical coverage, some of the expenses such as co-pays and deductibles may get reimbursed.
If the car is totaled in the crash, the insurer will generally pay you the actual cash value, but it may not be enough to pay off your car loan. You will still be left with thousands of dollars to pay.
Involved in a St. Louis Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a St. Louis car accident, it is in your best interests to have one of our experienced accident attorneys evaluate your claim for free. We have the experience and resources necessary to get you the compensation you are legally entitled to from the part at-fault. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242.