What Are the Most Common Costs Associated With Car Accidents?

What Are the Most Common Costs Associated With Car Accidents?

A car accident is a horrible experience, often causing serious injuries and lasting trauma. While a little parking lot fender-bender may cause only marginal property damage costs to repair a vehicle in a simple insurance claim, when the accident causes major trauma to motorists, the costs are far more than just the amount for property damage.

The expense of a car accident quickly adds up. It’s distressing for car accident injury victims when they see their expensive medical costs quickly mounting at the same time they are unable to return to work while they’re recovering from their injuries—or even worse—when they learn they may not be able to return to work at all due to accident-related disability.

What are the most common costs associated with car accidents, and how does a victim recover their losses?

Economic Costs After a Car Accident

The crash force of an accident causes significant trauma to the vehicle, any personal property inside the vehicle, and the human body. At only 30 miles per hour, a 100-pound young person becomes a 3,000-pound force inside the car. Common economic losses—known as “damages” in car accident claims—include the following:

  • Vehicle repairs or the estimated value of a totaled vehicle
  • The value of personal property damaged inside the vehicle
  • Reimbursement for medical expenses for those injured in the crash
  • An amount for anticipated future medical expenses related to the injury
  • Reimbursement for related expenses such as travel costs to medical appointments
  • Reimbursement for lost income
  • Anticipated future income loss
  • Diminished future earning capacity if the victim suffers a disabling injury
  • Loss of household services if the injury keeps a victim from performing household or child-raising tasks they previously managed

Economic damages are tangible car accident costs that are fairly easy to calculate. However, non-economic damages are intangible, and difficult to assign a monetary amount. An experienced car accident lawyer in Everett can help you navigate the complexities of damages and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Non-Economic Damages After a Car Accident

Non-economic damages may be more challenging to calculate, but they are the most damaging aspect of a car accident, often with serious temporary or permanent impacts on the car accident victim’s quality of life. Common non-economic car accident damages recovered in accident claims include the following:

  • Pain and suffering compensation
  • Compensation for emotional damages like PTSD, anxiety, and depression
  • Compensation for scarring, disfigurement, or traumatic limb loss
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life
  • Compensation for loss of consortium (the full physical and emotional relationship with a loved one)

In Washington, a car accident victim can recover the full value of their economic and non-economic damages if another driver was 100 percent at fault for the accident, or if the fault lies with a negligent road crew or the manufacturer of a defective car part. If the injury victim contributed to the accident, they can still recover a portion of their damages minus their percentage of fault under Washington Law Chapter 4.22 RCW which states:

“In an action based on fault seeking to recover damages for injury or death to person or harm to property, any contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault, but does not bar recovery.”

For example, if a car accident victim’s damages amount to $100,000 and they’re found to have been 20 percent at fault for the accident, they’ll still recover $80,000 either through a settlement agreement or in court.

Having an experienced Everett personal injury attorney to investigate the accident, document evidence of liability, and negotiate a settlement agreement is the best way for a car accident victim to fully recover the costs of a car accident.