The hidden costs of car wrecks: why you need a Carrollton car accident lawyer

In 2018, over 3,000 people were killed in Texas in traffic crashes involving motor vehicles. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of those deaths was estimated at nearly $5.7 billion. That's over $43 million in medical costs and $5.66 billion in the cost of lost work.

Fortunately, not every crash is fatal. But even when a car wreck is relatively minor by comparison, there can still be unexpected ramifications and expenses that could catch you — and your wallet — off guard.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the hidden costs of car wrecks and how a Carrollton car accident lawyer can help you recover some of the expenses that resulted from the accident. 

Expenses You Might Not Expect

Most people expect to pay for the necessary vehicle repairs following a car accident. Many won’t be shocked that they will need to set aside some money for medical care as well. Unfortunately, however, some expenses are less obvious and frequently take accident victims by surprise.

Here are a few of the hidden costs associated with car wrecks.

Loan Payments

If your car was recently totaled in a car wreck, it might come as a bit of a shock to you when your loan payment comes due the following month. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may still be responsible for making your auto loan payments on time, even if your vehicle is currently taking up space in a junkyard.

Not keeping up with these payments can cause your credit score to drop and incur additional fees and penalties, adding insult to injury.

If you purchased gap insurance when you bought your vehicle, the remaining balance of your loan might be taken care of. If not, working with an experienced Carrollton car accident attorney to recover as much of your costs as possible will be even more critical following a car wreck. 

Insurance Deductibles

While you might expect to pay a deductible at the doctor’s office, you may not be expecting the same expense when it comes time to cash in on that auto insurance you’ve been paying for all this time.

Unfortunately, as many drivers have discovered, auto insurance is also subject to deductibles. While the exact amount will depend on your particular policy, the state you live in, and a number of other factors, average car insurance deductibles range from as little as $250 to upwards of $2,000.

Oftentimes, if your monthly payment amount is particularly low, your deductible will be higher. Conversely, if you pay a significant amount each month in insurance premiums, you may have a much lower auto insurance deductible. 

Towing Expenses

We get it. The last thing you’re probably thinking about immediately after a car wreck is how your damaged vehicle made it from the scene of the accident to the shop or junkyard. But it certainly didn’t get there itself, and that means that you will likely be responsible for paying for towing expenses.

Even if your car wasn’t totaled and is still serviceable, if you were incapacitated in any way following the accident, your vehicle will need to be towed to clear it from the roadway.

The cost of this service can vary. It will depend on:

In some cases, you may be eligible for reimbursement. But in many instances, you’ll be paying for this unexpected expense out of pocket. 

Increased Insurance Premiums

Did you know that making even one single claim on your auto insurance can result in an average price increase of over 60%?

Currently, the national average cost of car insurance is about $133 per month. An increase of 30% – 60% or more on top of that amount can have serious consequences and even make car ownership cost-prohibitive for some.

Furthermore, those figures apply to drivers with good credit and a relatively clean driving record.

According to Nerd Wallet, the average annual car insurance rates in the United States are:

In Texas, the average full coverage amount is $1,610, while the minimum coverage amount is $560. That’s a difference of $1,050, which can drastically change your responsibilities when it comes to costs after a car accident. 

Lost Wages

Over $5 billion worth of wages were lost in the United States in 2018 thanks to car accidents.

While you’re unlikely to miss more than a few hours of work for a minor fender-bender, any wreck has the potential to cause physical and emotional injury, with symptoms sometimes not arising until days or weeks down the road.

Missing work and the paycheck you rely on is a bitter pill to swallow, especially if the accident that caused your injuries was not your fault. And when you’re already dealing with the expense of insurance deductibles, a higher premium, medical expenses, towing bills, and all of your other regular bills, missed paychecks can be devastating.

Sometimes the only way to recover lost wages is to make a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver with a Carrollton car accident attorney. In the meantime, you may need to consider tapping into other resources for income like:

Fortunately, a car accident attorney can help you recover the wages you’ve lost as a result of a car accident so you can take the time you need to heal and recover. 

Ambulance Rides

Should you find yourself involved in a more serious car wreck, you may require medical attention beyond what can be provided at the scene. That means that you could wind up on the hook for one of the most expensive rides you’ll ever take: an ambulance ride.

If you assumed that such a medical necessity would be covered, you might want to think again.

What Costs Can Be Recovered by a Carrollton Car Accident Lawyer?

As bleak as this all may sound, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. An experienced car accident attorney can help you recover some or all of the often significant costs that come with being involved in a wreck.

At The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare in Carrollton and Dallas, we’ve helped recover millions of dollars for car and bus accidents involving surgeries and fractures, and we’ve successfully resolved thousands of cases.

In addition to the less widely known expenses covered above, with a car accident attorney, you can also expect to recover costs such as: 

Property Damage

Sometimes more than your car is damaged in the wreck. Recovering the costs of property damage can help you repair or replace any personal possessions that were damaged, in addition to the cost to repair or replace the vehicle itself. 

Pain and Suffering

Not all of the injuries sustained in a car accident are visible. When you’ve been involved in a serious wreck, you may suffer from emotional trauma, anxiety, or depression that requires professional counseling to overcome.

Recovering expenses for pain and suffering can help you move past some of the less visible injuries you may have sustained. 

Wrongful Death Damages

Nothing can bring back a loved one lost in a serious car accident. But in the event that wrongful death did occur, you may be able to seek damages, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering experienced by your loved one, and in some cases, even the potential lifetime earnings and loss of companionship in the case of a spouse. 

A car accident attorney can guide you through a stressful situation and ease your financial burden.

Car accidents are stressful enough. The last thing you need is the added stress of the financial ramifications of a car crash. When you work with an experienced car accident lawyer in Carrollton, Texas, you’ll have a guide through an otherwise challenging time and someone on your team who will fight to get you every penny you deserve.