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Published On: Wed, Mar 24th, 2021

Car Accident Overview: What is the average cost?

If you have been involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with bills. Unfortunately, hospital bills, ambulance rides, follow-up appointments, repair of personal property, and loss of employment and wages are just a few of the detrimental costs you may face after a car accident.

crashed car scene of accident

Photo by Michael Jin on Unsplash

Car Accident Cost Averages

Here are a few of the cost averages for different types of car accidents in the United States:

  • Accident with fatalities – $1,410,000 per death
  • Accident with a non-fatal disabling injury – $78,900
  • Accident with non-disabling injuries and property damage – $8,900
  • Minor crash (uninsured motorist) – $10,000

With numbers such as these, it is clear why covering the financial burden of car accidents is overwhelming for those involved. Unfortunately, for many it is a reality; the annual cost of car accidents in the U.S. is $230.6 billion, with 2.35 million accidents and 37,000 fatalities.

Factors That Impact the Cost of an Accident

There are multiple factors that can impact the total cost of a car accident.

Damage to your vehicle – The cost of your repairs and the cost of your vehicle will play into the overall cost of an accident. These costs can vary greatly since a car accident can range from a fender bender to a totaled vehicle.

Extent of Injuries – Medical bills can be the result of any type of injury, even minor ones. It is always a good idea to be checked out by a doctor following a car accident, but more severe injuries that require hospitalization will end up contributing greatly to the overall cost of your accident. Your injuries are not the only ones that may contribute to the cost of the accident though – the severity of your passenger’s injuries can also greatly increase costs. You may also be legally liable for your passenger’s damages if you are found at fault.

Property Damage – Damages to items in the vehicle or items that your car hits may cause added costs if you are found liable.

Accident Location – Different states have different liability laws. For example, Louisiana has comparative negligence laws, meaning that damages you can recover will be reduced based on the degree to which you contributed to the accident. In states with pure contributory negligence laws, you cannot recover any damages if you were even just a small bit responsible for the accident. Only DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama follow pure contributory negligence laws, as these laws are criticized for being harsh to drivers.

Cost of an Attorney – After an accident, it may be a good idea to consult a lawyer to see what your options are for recovery. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that you will pay for their services at the end if you settle or get an award, but you won’t be paying upfront.

A car accident lawyer can be helpful in navigating all of the associated costs of an accident and helping you determine what your options are for filing a claim. 

Author: Sadaf Zain

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