3 Unexpected Expenses of Car Accidents
Owning a car is more than simply paying the amount on the dealership's price tag. Responsible car owners understand that in order to keep a vehicle properly maintained and safe to drive, he or she must continually invest time and money. To the uninformed owner, car expenses quickly add up and can overwhelm a budget--expenses such as gas, car insurance, loan payments (if the car has not been paid off fully), maintenance costs, and repair bills. Expenses rise even higher when owners wish to add customized equipment to their vehicles, such as an upgraded stereo system.
Even if you have all of these costs covered, car accidents can bring a host of new problems to your bank account. Most owners assume that the cost of such wrecks is limited only to the damage sustained by the involved vehicles. This is not always the case. Often, car accidents bring unexpected expenses that are difficult to foresee. Here are the top three:
#1: Towing Cost
Depending on the accident, your car may be totaled or damaged in such a way that it cannot safely operate. In such a case, you must call a towing company to come and tow your vehicle to a place where it can be salvaged or repaired. Towing, of course, is not a free service. The government of Austin, Texas estimates that the average towing fee is around $193.00, including storage, impound, and tax fees. While this may not seem like much in comparison to other expenses, it adds another fee on top of an already large bill.
Tyler, Texas has plenty of towing services available for locals.
#2: Medical Bills
Cars are not the only things damaged in a wreck; the drivers themselves are often injured. In severe accidents, drivers might be rushed off to an emergency room, which can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. Other injuries have treatments that come with hefty bills, such as broken bones and X-Ray procedures. Even minor injuries like cuts and burns can cost hundreds of dollars. It is not uncommon for these medical bills to surpass the cost of vehicle damage. Review your auto insurance policy to ensure these costs are covered by your company.
#3: Auto Loan Repayment
It is a common practice to purchase a car on a loan, where owners agree to pay a down payment up front and then pay the remaining cost over time, plus interest. Many people, however, mistakenly assume that if their car is totaled during a wreck, they are free from paying off the loan.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if their car is damaged beyond repair, car owners with a loan are responsible for paying the entire amount of their loan. To make matters worse, the selling price of your damaged car may not be enough to repay the amount you still owe. Because of this, many insurance companies offer "gap coverage", where, for an additional yearly fee, the company agrees to pay the difference between the selling price of your damaged car and the amount you still owe on a loan. Carefully review your insurance policy to see if you have this expense covered.
Car accidents are complex situations with many factors that influence expenses and compensation. Have you or a loved one been in a car accident? Colley & Colley can help navigate you through the financial and legal processes with expert knowledge. To get started, contact an experienced lawyer in East Texas today.