The financial costs of truck accidents
America relies on trucks to keep its economy flowing, with statistics showing that more than 70% of the nation’s resources are transported in trucks and large vehicles, while more than 15 million trucks roll along US roads each and every year.
Unfortunately, while trucks and truck drivers play such a big part in the nation’s strength and status, helping to keep supply chains flowing and delivering goods of all kinds from one coast to the other, driving trucks is considered a very dangerous activity.
Truck driving has even been ranked as one of the most dangerous professions in the US, and drivers aren’t the only ones at risk. Other road users in cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles can be involved in accidents and collisions with trucks that leave people injured, vehicles damaged, goods destroyed, and more.
After being involved in an accident with a truck, drivers will need to make a claim and the bills will immediately start adding up. Even if you weren’t in the wrong and were driving perfectly safely and sensibly before the accident occurs, the financial consequences of any kind of crash or collision can be quite dramatic, as this guide explains.
One of the biggest expenses, when you’re involved in a collision with a truck, is vehicle damage. The truck itself might not be too badly damaged, as trucks are the biggest and toughest vehicles on the road, able to withstand collisions and impacts reasonably well when compared to other vehicles and sometimes suffering only minor cosmetic damage.
Other vehicles, however, like vans, cars, SUVs, and motorcycles can be completely destroyed in collisions with trucks. Average auto repair bills after accidents are estimated at around $4,000 from regular auto accidents, and these bills can be much higher if your motorcycle or car is crushed in a crash with a truck.
Loss of vehicle
Your auto insurance may be able to cover the repair or replacement costs of fixing your vehicle after an accident. However, one more set of fees will begin to accumulate if your vehicle is inoperable: loss of use costs. Without a vehicle to hand, you’ll have more difficulty getting around, getting to work, and so on.
Insurance companies can often provide temporary vehicles to fill in while you wait for your own car or truck to be repaired. However, this can take some time to arrange, and even going a single day or just a few hours without the use of your own personal vehicle can be a big issue for many people, leading to lost salary and other issues too.
As well as damage to your vehicle, you’ll also have to consider the possibility of any injuries to yourself and your passengers who happened to be in the vehicle at the time of the accident. When truck accidents are concerned, the risks of injuries are particularly high and many people can end up suffering from whiplash, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries too.
Medical bills will build up if you or one of your loved ones requires serious treatment for your injuries. Some people have long-term injuries, like TBIs or bone breaks, that can need weeks or months to recover from, and some injuries will be with you for life, affecting how you live for years to come and requiring ongoing therapy and treatment, which will need to be paid for.
Following on from the previous point, it’s important to note that, in many cases, people who are involved in auto accidents involving trucks and other heavy goods vehicles can have to endure long, drawn out recovery processes as they try to get back to normality. This can lead to huge medical bills, spread out over periods of many months of years.
Someone with a TBI, for example, might need to have cognitive therapy and rehabilitation to learn simple tasks all over again. Someone else who suffers from PTSD after an accident might need to have long-term counseling and therapy in order to get over their anxiety, trauma, and stress associated with the incident and try to move towards recovering a more normal state of being.
There are also many situations, often due to injuries and mental health problems, where accidents can cause people to lose finances that they would be gaining from their work. Insurance and employee protections can play a part in helping to protect you from this, but it all depends on your line of work and the nature of your employer.
If you happen to be a self-employed artist or photographer, for example, the protections available to you after an accident will be much more limited than those for an office or factory worker. In any case, you may be unable to work and earn money for a lengthy period of time, and you may even be forced to retrain or seek another form of employment, depending on your injuries.
Often, people involved in auto accidents with trucks, cars, or any other kind of vehicle may need to seek the services of an attorney to help them when making a claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit, or to defend them if a suit or claim is being filed against them due to negligent behavior or reckless driving.
The costs of attorneys can add up over time, adding yet another set of expenses for people to think about after being involved in truck accidents, and while some lawyers will have flat rate fees, others will expect you to pay more money based on the amount of work they have to do.
Clearly, there are a lot of potential costs to take into account after truck accidents, and anyone in an accident will usually need assistance in getting their finances in order and properly paying for the various services and aids they’ll need to navigate this challenging time. The best way to avoid any of these needless expenses is to make sure you stay safe on the roads, following the speed limits, and obeying the rules, always.