If you’ve ever been involved in a serious car accident, you might be well aware of the associated expenses. But if you’ve managed to steer clear of danger so far or have only been involved in a minor fender bender, it’s natural to wonder how much does a car accident cost? While it can vary depending on the severity of the accident, a car crash can cost you money, time, productivity at work, and more! In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the total societal harm from car crashes in 2010 was $836 billion. So follow along as we do the math on car accidents and see how auto insurance can protect you from paying more than you need to.
More than Money: Costs Associated with a Car Accident
Money on Car Repairs
While money isn’t the only factor as we noted above, it is a major one. It’s no secret that car crashes typically result in repair expenses, and that money can add up quickly. Just take a look at how much you might have to pay for some common repair jobs.
- Replacing a bumper: $880-$1,390 (Cash Cars Buyer), depending on the make and model of the car
- Repairing scratches: $50-$900 (Angie’s List), depending on how many scratches and depth of paint damage
- Replacing a windshield: $100-$400 & up to $1,500 (Glass America), depending on the make and model of the car
And this shortlist doesn’t even include more costly repairs, like if your suspension is damaged! Also, don’t forget about renting a car while yours is in the shop. The average rental for a collision repair takes about two weeks, says Enterprise, so don’t forget to add that cost to your growing bill.
Time Spent Waiting & Recovering
A car accident can hurt more than your pocketbook. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, harm from loss of life, pain, and decreased quality of life due to car crash injuries in the U.S. is estimated to be around $594 billion in just a single year. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident that includes such issues — trips to the doctor, treatments, and the like — can eat up an enormous amount of your time.
Depending on the severity of your traffic collision, you may have to spend time:
- Recovering from your injuries
- Caring for other family members
- Picking up prescriptions
- Driving to the doctor
- Undergoing physical therapy
As you can see, it isn’t just money you could be losing. Car accidents also rob you of precious time and can drain your energy; it really isn’t just a bank account that takes a hit.
Even under the best circumstances, a car accident can result in lost wages and a downturn in work productivity. Even a minor fender-bender can:
- Prevent you from getting to work on time
- Require you to take time off for car repairs, surgeries, or doctor’s appointments
- Keep you from concentrating at work
How Much Does a Car Accident Cost If I Have the Right Insurance?
What can you do to limit the hardships caused by a car accident? Have the right insurance coverage in place before any accidents happen! With Comprehensive Coverage and Collision Coverage, there’s a good chance you’d be paying a predetermined deductible toward the cost of vehicle damages. But after paying that upfront share, your insurance could cover the remaining repair costs for the vehicle(s) involved in the accident.
To help ease the financial burden of medical bills, there are coverages like Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments. These can work side-by-side with your health insurance to help pay for accident-related medical expenses sooner rather than later. PIP coverage might even help you cover costs you could be forgetting, like paying for childcare services while you’re stuck recovering in the hospital and missing time at work. PIP coverage isn’t available everywhere, and it might actually be mandatory depending on where you live. However, if PIP isn’t available where you live, Direct Auto Insurance offers something called an Emergency Protection Plan* (EPP). An EPP will pay cash directly to you for each day you’re in the hospital after an accident. You’re welcome to spend that cash however you want, whether that’s to cover routine bills or pay for groceries.
How Much Does a Car Accident Cost Without Insurance?
While you have to pay a premium for an insurance policy and potentially a deductible in the event of a crash, those are small numbers compared to the cost of the out-of-pocket vehicle repairs and medical expenses you could be left with if you choose to drive without insurance and are involved in an accident. The consequences of driving without insurance vary from state to state, but they can be quite serious depending on where you live:
- Potential jail time
- Steep fines, tickets, and fees
- Suspension of your driver’s license or vehicle registration
- Increase in future insurance rates
If you cause a car accident, you won’t have an insurance policy to protect you, meaning you could be sued and forced to pay for any injuries or property damage you cause. Even if another driver causes the wreck, you could be limited on the damages you’re allowed to recover if you live in a “No Pay, No Play” state like Louisiana. Such states do not allow uninsured drivers to collect certain damages from a covered driver’s insurer. Yikes!
Getting Covered Is Always Your Best Choice
Apart from staying off the road entirely, you can’t guarantee you won’t be involved in an accident. But you can be prepared for any accident, from a fender bender to a multi-car pileup, if you call Direct Auto Insurance, visit us online, or stop by one of our locations. We’ll make sure you have the right coverage when you need it the most!
More About Car Accidents & Collisions:
- What to Do After A Car Accident
- How to Avoid Hitting a Deer
- What Happens If My Car Gets “Totaled” in an Accident?
- Consequences of Driving Without Insurance
*Emergency Protection Plans are not insurance but optional motor clubs administered by Nation Safe Drivers. Plans are subject to terms & conditions and are not available in all states.