Costs associated with car crashes can really add up, even in the case of a minor fender bender. More than 10 million auto accidents occur on America’s roadways each year, ranging from minor fender benders to major collisions that cause devastating and life-altering injuries. That 10 million figure reflects some 27,000 accidents daily and the related costs hit upward of $871 billion in property damage, medical bills, legal fees, lost productivity and other costs annually, according to results of a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Insurance industry statistics show that the average driver files a collision claim about once every 18 years.
So, if you began driving at age 16 and hang it up at age 80, you likely will have been involved in a three to four separate accidents. Each one of these brings a range of potential financial costs – even in the case of minor fender benders. Here are a few of the top costs you may be forced to pony up in the case of an auto accident:
- An increase in your insurance premium: Depending upon the severity of the accident and which party is at fault, you may face paying an average of 41 percent more for auto insurance after making just one claim, according to an InsuranceQuotes.com survey.
- Automotive repairs: Without comprehensive or collision coverage, you may be on the hook for needed repairs to your vehicle, even if the other driver is at-fault. Plus, no matter what type of coverage you have, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible.
- Car rental: Your car is in the shop for repairs that may take days or even weeks, but you’ve still got to get to work, school and other obligations. If another driver was at fault, his or her insurance may cover car rental reimbursement up to a particular amount. Depending upon your policy terms, your insurance provider may then pick up the remainder of the tab but again, there may be caps.
- Emergency room and medical costs: Florida is a no-fault state, so your own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage should cover the bulk your emergency room and medical expenses. However, there are limits. PIP covers 80 percent of ER and medical expenses up to $10,000, as well as 60 percent of lost wages. You’re personally responsible for the differences.
- Payoff of your auto loan: If your vehicle is totaled, your insurer will pay out its actual cash value, which may be far lower than what you still owe on it. And believe us – your lender will have no sympathy for the fact that your car is gone. You’ll still be responsible for paying the balance of your insurance payout and the total due.
To ensure you get the fair compensation for all related costs after an auto accident, lawyers with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell can be reached at 800-251-1111.