How a Car Accident Affects Your Life
The implications of an automobile accident vary from one to the next, depending on the extent of the damage to the car and the degree of personal injury sustained. Rather than even attempt to cover all those possibilities, it’s helpful to review the practical and logistical considerations resulting from most automobile mishaps.
It’s helpful to have a sense of how your insurance might be affected after an accident, how to go about securing a rental car if need be and without breaking the bank, not to mention what impact an accident might have on your credit history.
Whether just cosmetic or considerable, your local service team can help with any auto repair in Cincinnati. When it comes to cars, most everything is fixable.
Once you’ve established your safety and the well-being of those involved in the accident, you’ll be able to move forward with the appropriate next steps.
Understanding Automobile Insurance
The whole point of paying for car insurance is to protect yourself from incurring additional expenses in the event of a car accident. By nature, insurance companies are risk-averse. Even if you are not at fault, you might still find that your insurance rates increase after you are involved in an accident.
Regardless of the role you played in the accident, your insurance provider might still consider you a risk and will protect themselves by assessing a surcharge on your policy. Some states have laws that protect against this, but not all do.
It’s important to check with your insurance carrier so that you know how your insurance rates might change in the wake of an accident. A recent report by CBS News determined that a single claim could increase your insurance premium by 41 percent.
Two claims in one year? Look forward to a 93 percent insurance hike. But, the good news, which should come as a relief after those sobering statistics, is that increases to your premium only last on average between three to five years.
After that time, you should see your rate start to return to what it was, pre-claim.
Acquiring a Rental Car
If your car sustains serious damage or in the event that it is completely totaled, you will need a rental car to continue meeting the demands of your life, especially when it comes to your job, caring for your family, maintaining your fitness schedule at the gym, or getting to class on time.
Basically, whatever you were doing on a daily basis prior to this accident. The driver found at-fault in the accident is responsible for paying for your rental car through his or her insurance policy.
What if you are hit by a driver who does not have car insurance? Well, that’s another reason why you do have car insurance, although this, too, may result in an increase in your insurance rates. Your insurance will cover the cost of a rental car for the length of time it takes for either your car to be repaired.
Or, if your car is totaled, your insurance company will offer to buy back your car at fair market value. If you choose to go this route, you have a week after receiving the check to deposit it and purchase a new vehicle.
Generally, a car accident will not affect or even be reported on your credit report and therefore will not impact your credit score.
Credit reports are more concerned with tracking timely payments made on credit cards, loans for both automobiles and mortgages, collections, and any other public record, including civil suits, bankruptcies, judgments, and tax liens.
So, while the accident itself will not appear on your credit report, any resulting failure to pay insurance premiums, or to foot the bill for repairs in a timely fashion, or pay medical bills by their due dates, can result in negative credit reports, which will most certainly affect your overall credit score.
The Mind-Body Connection
Of all the expenses associated with an automobile accident, the most difficult to predict is how the accident will affect you overall. You might incur medical expenses to address physical injuries after an accident.
The amount of those expenses will directly correlate with the severity of your injuries and how much your insurance company will cover, provided you do, in fact, have insurance. Even harder to determine are the psychological effects that some people experience after an automobile accident, no matter how minor it may have been. Particularly if you didn’t see it coming, as in the case of getting rear-ended, or hit from the side, the heart-stopping shock you felt on impact can have a lingering effect, manifesting as panic or anxiety.
In either case, whether you’re dealing with physical injuries or psychological fall out, you might find yourself out of work for a certain period of time in order to fully recover. Depending on the nature of your job, staying home to recuperate could adversely affect your finances, or your position within your company.
This is especially true of jobs in the retail, hospitality, and customer service industries. With those positions you have to physically show up to make money. If you can’t manage to get to work for a few days, weeks, or even months, you will feel the additional psychological strain of financial worry.
Granted, it’s practically impossible to plan for every possible mishap that the road and other drivers might throw your way, but it is crucial to communicate with your insurance company ahead of time in order to understand how your insurance might be impacted after an accident. It’s also a great idea to have an emergency fund tucked aside to cover the costs of repairs, whether to your car or yourself, particularly if your insurance won’t cover all of them. The safety and health of those involved in an automobile accident is of utmost importance.
But, it’s good to know that the more superficial and fixable damages your car might sustain in an accident can be remedied by the expertise of the service team, experts in auto repair in Cincinnati, OH. Avoid getting into an automobile accident by practicing safe, defensive driving, staying alert, and using hands-free technology if you need to communicate while on the road.