Car Accident Costs
Being in a car accident is expensive. But do you know how expensive? If a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance comes to the scene of your car accident, the bill could be approximately $700 to $1,400 dollars, depending on services provided. Plus, an additional $15.75 a mile for your trip to the hospital.1
And after a car accident, should you have to spend one night in the hospital, depending on what medical procedures and tests are prescribed, you could easily see a bill of $10,000 or more!
Hopefully, if you’re in an auto accident, your injuries will be mild and you will quickly recover.
Let’s talk about the costs of repairing your car. According to a recent survey by Bodyshopbusiness.com (of body shop owners from around the country), the cost to repair the frame of your car is nearly $60 an hour. Body repair and painting is at least $50 an hour. Mechanical repair is nearly $70 an hour. And these prices do not include the cost of parts and materials!2
Add in your lost wages, physical therapy, insurance deductibles and possible increases in premiums to your auto insurance and health care, and you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars in accident-related costs, from even a moderate “fender bender.”
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always pay you all you need to cover your losses. There have been reports of insurance companies routinely denying and delaying payment of claims in hopes you’ll accept any amount of money they offer, no matter how small.
Insurance companies are smart! To reduce their operating expenses, sometimes they will offer you a settlement check right away for a “full and final release.” While you may think they’re providing great service, what they’re really trying to do is buy you off before you discover how serious your car’s damages or your physical injuries are. Generally speaking, once you accept their settlement check, you can’t go back for more money. Clearly, with so much money at stake, it’s critical for you to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Time is money – especially in relation to an auto accident.
A personal injury lawyer works for you. He or she is on your side and will work to protect your legal rights and your best interests.
A personal injury lawyer can help get your doctor and hospital bills paid, while your insurance claim is being reviewed. An attorney can help get your car repaired and your auto body shop bills paid prior to settlement of your case. Life without a car is challenging, imagine having to wait weeks or months for your claim to be settled before getting your car repaired. Nobody in Southern California should be forced to wait that long!
A personal injury lawyer will deal with the insurance companies and their adjusters so you don’t have to, saving you time and frustration.
Your personal injury lawyer will work to maximize the monetary compensation you receive for your pain and suffering.
There’s one additional cost of being in an accident that no dollar figure can be put against: the impact it has on your family and your quality of life. An accident that happens in the blink of an eye could affect you and your loved ones for life.
You need not go thorough this traumatic experience alone. I encourage you to get help by immediately retaining an attorney you feel comfortable working with. Everyone has the right to get justice after a car accident. Hiring an attorney is step one to making sure you get it.
Robert M. Cohen
Attorney at Law
Walker & Walker Attorney Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2
The information within the blog is not to be construed as legal advice.
1L.A. Fire Department Billing Unit, August 26, 2011
2Independent survey of 320 U.S. auto body shops conducted by Body Shop Business.com, www.bodyshopbusiness.com/IndustryStatistics.aspx, March 2011