You’re driving downtown on a tight schedule when the car in front of you slams on the brakes. You slam on yours but barely have time to slow down before you rear-end the car in front of you.

In addition to a raging headache, you’ve now got a car accident on your hands. Every year, about 6 million people get into car accidents. It’s common to feel unprepared when unexpected events occur, especially when they cost you money.

How much might your accident cost? It depends on a number of factors, and we’ve got everything you need to know. Keep reading to learn more!

Financial Consequences of a Car Accident

Car accidents can have a devastating financial impact, whether you were at fault or not. Take a car accident that involves both vehicles and people, for example. There are medical costs, including ambulance fees, hospital bills, plus repair bills for damage to vehicles and property.

Lost wages, pain and suffering, and other non-economic losses can also be factors to consider. A car accident that results in injury or death can lead to legal action and hefty court costs associated with defending yourself or filing a claim. This can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

If you are at fault, you may see your premiums climb and you may even lose your license. It is important to understand the true cost of a car accident so you can protect yourself and your finances.

What Your Insurance Plan Might Not Cover

The true cost of the accident can often be far deeper. Without adequate insurance or legal representation, victims may find themselves responsible for the following:

  • Court costs
  • Lost wages from missed work
  • Decrease in overall quality of life

It is imperative to contact a qualified lawyer and/or an experienced insurance agent as soon as possible to ensure that all damage incurred by the accident is properly accounted for and reimbursed.

Criminal Charges and Legal Actions You Could Face

The true cost of a car accident in St Augustine can be catastrophic. Beyond physical damage, there are costly criminal and legal issues to consider after an accident. Potential criminal charges you could face include:

  • Fleeing the scene
  • Driving without insurance or a valid license
  • Reckless driving

All of these can lead to fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. Seeking legal advice is essential if an accident results in an injury or fatality; a trusted car accident attorney in St Augustine can help with navigating the complexities of civil court and possible settlements if necessary.

The Mental and Emotional Toll of a Car Accident

The physical damage and property loss are often quantifiable costs of an accident, but some of the costs cannot easily be measured or seen. The mental and emotional toll of an accident can be just as powerful.

Witnesses, passengers, and drivers of an accident may all experience an emotional aftermath. Anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder can all arise in their wake.

Fears about driving or getting into cars again can become almost debilitating. Survivors of a car accident may also experience feelings of guilt or helplessness related to the event.

To limit its effects, those affected should seek counsel and therapy for their emotional and mental toll. Support groups are available to help individuals work through the mental and physical trauma associated with a car accident.

Identifying Sources of Compensation After an Accident

Medical costs are among the most significant expenses associated with a car accident. One can claim healthcare insurance and compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages and other nonmedical expenses.

Additional costs include repairs to the car itself and potential legal expenses if a lawsuit is necessary. Liability coverage is important to compensate for any third-party costs. It’s also important to determine if uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be applied in order to help protect an individual’s financial interests.