Auto accidents can wreak havoc on your life. Whether you were at fault or you sustained an injury, there can be long-term ramifications of the accident. Many times, an auto accident in New Orleans and other locations can be a lot to handle. It leaves you reeling and not sure how you will be financially impacted or what you should do.
There are several steps you can take after an accident. It’s important to be prepared and to understand that recovery and claims can be an extensive and costly process. Getting the best legal assistance after an accident is so important to help protect you and potentially help with financial relief.
This guide provides some insight as to what to expect for the financial side effects of an auto accident in New Orleans and what you can do.
What ARE the Costs?
There can be several different details that play into the financial obligations you could face after a car accident. The costs will vary with every accident, but they certainly rack up quickly. Whether you miss work, have piles of medical bills, or your insurance premiums increase, these are all associated costs.
Here’s a closer look at some potential expenses.
If you are injured in any way, this could cause you to miss work. Whether you have extensive injuries that leave you unable to work or you have missed work from doctor’s appointments and more, this is going to impact you.
Not only will you have financial obligations from the accident, but missing work means your income is going to be affected. While some people may be covered by sick time for short periods, this typically runs out quickly.
Short-term and long-term disability policies only pay a fraction of your wages, if you even have those in place. When you’re missing work because of an auto accident, it’s going to make your everyday expenses a challenge, much less any additional expenses related to the accident.
If you are treated for an injury, this will most certainly cause medical bills. The extent of medical bills could be astronomical. There may be things like scans or x-rays required. You might have life-threatening injuries that leave you hospitalized for extended lengths of time. You could have surgery costs or physical therapy and rehabilitation costs.
There are any number of medical expenses. These expenses won’t just be from the day of the accident, either. If you are injured, you will likely have hospitalization, therapy, and additional appointments for follow-ups as needed. Every single appointment and procedure costs money.
Medical costs are high. Even with great insurance, you’re likely to rack up some major expenses here. This is true for minor injuries as well. If you are injured or suspect an injury, you should seek treatment immediately or as soon as possible.
Chances are, your vehicle will not come out unscathed from an auto accident in New Orleans. You could need a full vehicle replacement or have extensive repairs that need to be completed to get you back in an operational vehicle.
Being without a vehicle is a problem, so you also might need a rental car while repairs or replacement are occurring. Of course, if you are covered by insurance, your premiums will likely rise. And even with insurance, you will still have out-of-pocket expenses. You also won’t get a check the day of your accident.
If for some reason you or the driver are not insured, this could really add up. Vehicles are not cheap to repair or replace, but they are essential for our daily lives in most cases.
What About Mental Health?
Being in an auto accident can really mess with you. It’s not just the physical injuries you have to worry about, but there are also the emotional and mental side effects of the accident. These are things that many people never really consider when thinking of an auto accident.
You could face emotional or mental trauma for some time. This could require counseling to recover from. In the meantime, you might face things like nightmares, anxiety, or even fear behind the wheel. This is an important element to consider.
Reacting to an Auto Accident in New Orleans
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, it’s important to take action right away. There are several things that you can do at the scene or immediately after the accident. You can also ask others to help you with these things.
If you are severely injured, you may be limited on what you can do at the scene. However, if you are able, try following these steps:
- You or someone at the scene should immediately call 911 and report the accident. The responders will need to evaluate the scene and complete their own report. They also may need to respond to medical needs depending on the accident. This is essential and should never be skipped.
- Assess for injuries if you are able. Check yourself and check other drivers when you can. Don’t move anyone who is injured, but you can wait with them or speak to them until help arrives.
- Seek medical care right away. Even if you don’t feel like you have any significant injuries, it’s still a good idea to be evaluated. You likely have adrenaline in your system, and you may experience side effects later from the impact of the accident.
- Document the scene using your phone and taking notes. Take pictures and write down the details that you remember right away. This will help you remember all of the details later when the trauma of the accident starts to wear away.
- Work with insurance to file a claim. You should exchange insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident as well. You need to file your claim as quickly as possible.
- Work with an auto accident attorney to determine whether you are eligible for compensation and what your options are following the accident. This should also happen as soon as possible to avoid delays or issues with statutes of limitation.
It is important that you seek an attorney after facing an auto accident in New Orleans. Use an attorney who is experienced in handling auto accident claims and has a track record of success.