You’re driving down the road and you hit a bump that messes up the front end of your car, plus your axles. Or, say you didn’t see that stop sign and all of a sudden you’re spinning out of control and boom — you crash into another car or a side railing of some sort, and now you have an even bigger problem on your hands. It could be any scenario, but now you know something that many people understand when they get into an accident: there are damages to pay for. The direct cost of the accident may now be something you were not taking into account before the accident. How do you pay for such a cost? It’s important to keep in mind the various ways of counting the cost of your accident, and there are a few ways to pay off that amount. Follow these steps to ensuring you know what happens after an accident and what to do, as well as how to pay off the direct cost of accident problems if or when they arise.
What to Do Immediately After an Accident
First you should immediately check a few steps after you are in an accident. Make sure there are no immediate injuries — and if there are, call 911 to have an ambulance or law enforcement officer arrive immediately to survey the scene. Making sure everyone’s life is stable and not at any risk is of the utmost importance. Even if the accident is only a minor accident, consider calling law enforcement to assist with the scene as they will create a more determinate survey of what happened during the accident. This can be relied upon later if you are paying with car insurance for any damages. Secondly, move to a safer area. Make sure to remove your vehicles from any road or street if they are still operational. Pull completely off the road to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic or any other nearby moving vehicles. Flares or any other emergency lights will assist other passerby vehicles by letting them know to drive slowly and away from the accident scene.
It is essential to exchange information with the other driver. Depending on state laws, you are required to share certain amounts of information during an accident. You are generally required to share your name and insurance information with the other party after an accident occurs, and if there are multiple parties involved make sure everyone’s information is shared. While you may want to discuss in-person with the other party or multiple parties about the accident, it is important to quickly exchange information and move away as to not engage in an angry confrontation with opposing parties, admit guilt, or blame others. Make sure to take photos of any damage, get a police report and police contact information if available, personal notes on what happened, and any contact information by witnesses. Determine what kind of insurance you may need, whether auto or medical or both. Then, decide if filing a claim is the right way to go. Do not be tempted to pay on the spot if you are covered by car insurance for the direct cost of accident.
How to Pay for the Accident: Car Insurance
There are many major benefits to having car insurance. Not only is car insurance a serious financial support, but in many states, it is required by law to have car insurance when driving. You may also want to consider calling an accidents attorney, especially if you do not have insurance. Here are the reasons why car insurance is absolutely important when counting the direct cost of accident problems for your car.
You May Be an At-Risk Driver
Did you know that accidents happen in every major city, every small town, and every residential place in-between where cars are allowed? Yes, car accidents happen frequently and everywhere. In fact, about six million car accidents happen each year in the United States. Yet you may not even be at fault and accidents still happen. Consider a fender-bender or even a drunk driving accident. These may not be at-fault accidents but they happen frequently. Yet if you have formerly been in an accident or a few accidents, this is even more of a reason to have your car insurance support you during your time of the accident. Car insurance is essential in paying off the direct cost of accident problems after a car collision or accident of any sort.
However, should you be the drunk driver, criminal defense attorneys will be an important person to call. They will be able to help you go over all your options, which may include contacting a bail agent. There is a potential that you will want to pay the bail bonds fine so that you and your lawyer can more easily approach the next steps for you and your family.
Lowering Your Costs In the Long-Term
Your auto insurance coverage will assist you in lowering your costs after an accident. Car insurance allows you to pay just a small portion immediately for larger protection later. If an accident occurs, your car insurance will be responsible for all or some of the payments, depending on your plan. Economically, the total toll of accidents by auto vehicles in the United States costs about $250 billion nationwide. Yet, considering that just one huge crash could amount to a hefty cost, possibly even thousands of dollars, you will certainly pay for less when you pay for an auto insurance policy than if you did not have one.
Securing Your Car’s Value
Many different types of car insurance policies will help prolong your car’s life and the value of your vehicle. You simply cannot hold off a giant windstorm, a violent thunderstorm, extreme heat, or a snowstorm from hurting the body of your vehicle. With car insurance and a comprehensive plan, your losses incurred by any natural or accidental disaster can be covered from those risks. You will be saving money long term this way, especially if you have a car loan, which is a common way to pay off a large auto bill and makes the payment process much easier. It will continue to assist your car’s return to a marketable and valuable position if you were to ever sell your car.
Protecting Your Family and Peace of Mind
Do you have a plan that keeps your mind at peace when it comes to the direct cost of accident problems? When you know that you have a policy that can keep your family protected, your mind will be at rest knowing your car and your loved ones are safe. Could you pay the direct cost of accident payments on your own vehicle? Would you be able to afford it? Your family may be at risk of financial instability of a large wreck occurs. Having a stable car insurance plan will allow you to avoid facing such significant financial losses.
Guarding Against Potential Lawsuits
If you were to make a mistake and cause damage that significantly impacted someone else’s property, your car insurance would protect you from losing your valuable possessions, like your house or other important items, over such an occurrence. You can get the help you need in those situations by your insurance helping you with claims that others may put forward against you during or after an accident. The five most common types of legal cases pertaining to personal injury are auto vehicle accidents, medical malpractice cases, product liability, claims of wrongful death, and premises liability. You can get legal defense if you need it. Seek guidance from a slip and fall accident lawyer or a construction accident attorney, especially if either of these accidents happen on the job.
If you are facing the direct cost of accident problems you have encountered and want to escape debt or other serious payment problems, car insurance is a sure way to assist you in its wake.
How to File a Claim
Injuries consulted by medical doctors related to accidents in motor-vehicles totaled 4.5 million in 2018 alone. Filing a claim is important to make sure the direct cost of accident problems followed by a car accident is taken care of. Be prepared to pay some kind of a deductible, but file a claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance provider will communicate with the insurance of the other driver and settle matters as a third party, and if deemed necessary your deductible can be refunded.
If you reside in a no-fault state, you can be covered from injuries to you or to anyone who was riding in the vehicle with you. If necessary, you may have the right to pursue other legalities. After the other driver’s insurance investigates who is at fault, either you or an adjuster will be asked for the repair estimate in an assessment of the damage. Depending on the company of insurance held by the other driver, you may be reimbursed for certain medical costs if you live in a no-fault state. No matter the case, you will be reimbursed up to the limits of the driver’s liability. If you are still stuck with extra costs at the end of the claims process, you may turn to your own collision coverage, which can help with the direct cost of an accident, if you have this kind of coverage.
Paying For Smaller Accidents
There are two main ways you can pay out of pocket for a car accident: a minor, single-car accident or a minor two-car accident. If you bump into a pole or one of your kid’s toys puts a dent in the side of your car, these are smaller situations that could cause some damage but will not be too expensive to fix. Similarly, if you mean to go in reverse but instead drive right through your garage door, it likely will be covered through your insurance. If you inflict damage to your own car, that damage is handled through your comprehensive insurance or collision insurance. Both of these insurances can cover smaller to larger deductibles, even up to the thousands.
If the damage to your car is even slightly above, or it is below your average deductible, it is suggested you pay for the repairs out of pocket. Make sure in one-car accidents that the estimate of your damage is accurate. While insurance companies often expect a claim to be submitted in time, if you wait too long to submit your claim, it may not be accepted. At this point, the damage may turn out to cost much more than the initial estimate of your cost.
Minor two-car accidents are accidents between two cars and no parties are injured while the damage is minimal, and in these instances, both parties can agree not to call the insurance company. This is only advisable if you know the other driver or trust the other driver, and are willing to possibly pay any damages out of pocket from minor accident issues. These would be mostly family or friend accidents around the house or at a party around an area you are familiar with.
However, this could be an issue if you are not familiar with the other driver as they could renege on their communications with you and contact their insurance with any possible damages. While it is possible to pay out of pocket for minor damages in a two-car accident, especially if you do not want any extra knocks on your car insurance payments, it is usually a better idea to call your insurance company regarding the accident if you are not familiar with the other party.
When keeping in mind all the costs of an accident, it is essential to realize the best way to move forward. Car insurance options are the best way to incorporate the direct cost of accidents, but in some cases, paying out of pocket may be the way to go. Make sure you are filing a claim correctly and timely, so you are not penalized for extra time taken to process the claim. There are many ways to move forward after an accident! It is not the end of the world. Keep your head up, find your best pathway forward, and be safe on the streets!