Driving is crucial for independence and freedom. But, it’s expensive and currently costs around $9,666 per year. Driving is even more pricey if you’re involved in an at-fault accident, though. Not only will you need to buy a new vehicle, but you’ll face higher insurance premiums and much more. So, just how much does an at-fault car accident really cost you?
Increased insurance premiums
As your insurance company will have to pay out a lot of money following an at-fault accident, your insurance premiums will rise. Recent reports state that the average price increase is 49%, which is around an extra $350 annually. Some states have an even bigger rise, including California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, which all hike up prices by 60% or more. The good news is the premium increase won’t come into effect until your insurance is renewed. So, if you decide driving is no longer for you, you won’t be financially impacted.
Loss of earnings
Road accidents cause around 4.4 million injuries every year. Injuries frequently experienced include broken bones, burns, brain injuries, spinal damage, and internal injuries. It often takes weeks or months to fully recover from these and, in some cases, individuals never get back to full health. This usually means you won’t be able to work and you’ll lose your earnings. Insurance companies don’t necessarily provide coverage for loss of earnings in an at-fault accident. If you are covered, you’ll only receive payment for a set period of time. If there is any doubt over who’s liable for the car accident, including the possibility of a 50/50 split, then you may be able to recover some damages. Johnson Garcia states that “Unfortunately, when you’re injured, a lawsuit is often the only path for you to recover your damages.” With this in mind, seeking legal advice is recommended.
High medical bills
When you’re deemed at fault for a car accident, it’s your responsibility to pay for your medical bills. These bills can be expensive. The average cost of an ambulance ride is $1,200. You’ll also have to pay around $2,200 to visit ER, and, if you’re admitted, the bill will be around $57,000. This price doesn’t include any ongoing treatment you may need, such as physiotherapy, scans, surgery, and prescription medication.
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Reduced credit score
As you can see it’s expensive to pay for medical care following an at-fault car accident. But what happens if you can’t pay your bill? If you don’t pay what you owe, your failure to pay will be reported to credit bureaus and your credit score will be negatively impacted. A low credit score will make it harder for you to borrow cash in the future for things such as a mortgage or car loan. If you are approved, you’ll likely have to pay a higher interest rate because of your low score.
Someone is always to blame for road accidents. Many people think they’ll only be financially impacted by the loss of their vehicle. But the above shows that there are a lot more financial implications.