If you have been in a car accident before you know how expensive a situation it can be, especially when looking at all of the bills you will incur unrelated to the medical treatment you receive for your injuries. If you are lucky enough to have never been in a car accident, you will want to know how expensive it can be so you can do everything possible to avoid one in the future. After all, some of these expenses might come as a surprise to you.
Lost wages and future earning potential
Not many people realize right off the bat after a car accident that one of the biggest costs will be their lost wages and future earning potential. Most car accident victims, if injured enough, will wind up missing a couple of days at work. More serious injuries can lead to a couple of weeks away from the job. Or, you could be out of work for months at a time. The most serious injuries will prevent car accident victims from returning to work at all for the rest of their career.
When you are building a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you will want to provide your attorney with all of your employment and salary information. Give the attorney your job title, job description, length of time at your current job, and pay stubs. All of this information will help the attorney build a case for compensation so that you are not fighting to pay the bills every month.
Towing, repairs and rentals
Was your vehicle damaged so much that it needed to be towed away from the accident scene to a repair shop? Did you have it towed to your home? Either way, this is a non-medical cost of a car accident that many people don’t consider in the minutes following the crash. Aside from towing, what about repair costs? You shouldn’t be on the hook for the repairs that need to be made to your vehicle when the crash was someone else’s fault.
Since your vehicle was badly damaged in the crash you will likely need to rent a car until yours can be repaired. Many insurance policies will cover car rental, but there are always extra fees that you might have to pay. Or, maybe your insurance policy doesn’t cover rental cars. This means you will need to pay out of your own pocket to rent a car so you can still work, drive your kids to school, run errands and go to the doctor.
Altering your family’s budget
A car accident that leaves you injured will also require you to alter the family budget. If your injuries are keeping you from working you will need to cut back on discretionary spending and even tighten the belt when grocery shopping, shopping for clothes, and much more. You might even have to decide on paying out-of-pocket costs for a dental appointment versus paying part of the mortgage or rent each month following a car accident. Add to that the cost of the kids’ soccer cleats or piano lessons, or fees for school trips or after-school care, and it really starts to add up.
Can I afford a car accident lawyer?
Last, but not least, there are the legal fees associated with your car accident. This is the good news, actually, because you won’t have to pay any of those until after you win. This is called a “contingency fee,” which means that your attorney’s pay is contingent on the fact that he or she will win your case.
Once you’re awarded a settlement, or win a verdict at trial, your award will go into a trust. From there, any outstanding bills you have will be paid first. After that, your attorney takes his or her share of the award to pay his fees and costs. Whatever remains, you get to keep without having to pay anyone else (except for what you normally owe, of course, for monthly bills or expenses).
Even better? Most personal injury awards aren’t taxable, either, because they’re not considered earned income. If you are awarded punitive damages, then those damages in particular can be taxed – but the rest is yours to keep.
Did you suffer an injury in a crash? If so, you need to speak with an experienced Chicago car accident injury attorney from the office of Gainsberg Law P.C. immediately. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 312-313-1621, or complete the contact form.