Being involved in an accident can be an overwhelming experience. If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident that has caused some or significant damage to your vehicle, you may be wondering what to do. The good news is that there are several options for getting the damage to your vehicle fixed so that you can get back to using it.
There are a few factors to consider when going through the process of getting your vehicle fixed. These include:
• The type of insurance you have and the level of coverage
• If the other person involved in the accident has insurance
• Who was the cause of the accident
The At-Fault Party
One of the most important steps in a vehicle accident settlement is determining who was liable for the car accident. The at-fault party is usually financially responsible for the expenses of the vehicle repairs whether they are minor scratches or major repair work on the car body. If the vehicle is considered a total loss, the liable driver is legally required to pay for the current value of the car, when the accident occurred.
There is something called no-fault car insurance. The above statements hold true even under this type of car insurance so it is important to talk with the experts. As per no-fault insurance, all your hospital treatment and medical bills along with loss of income are typically paid under the victim’s insurance coverage. However, property damage (example, the damaged vehicle) is not paid as part of no fault, so the at-fault driver’s insurance will need to cover that.
Look at Liability Insurance
Anyone owning a vehicle needs to buy car liability insurance for all of their registered vehicles. After an accident, liability coverage for property damages the insurance policy should pay for the damage to other cars, up to whatever the amount is set in the policy.
This means that if you were involved in an accident, and the accident was the fault of another driver, you are eligible to file a claim for damages against their policy and to directly their insurance carrier.
Getting damages paid can be more challenging if the driver does carry insurance. In some situations, plaintiff’s own insurance will pay for the damage to your car if you have collision coverage. Collision coverage will pay for all car repairs or a totaled vehicle’s actual cash value, up to coverage limits.
The downside with making a claim on your own policy is that you will be responsible for the deductible cost. This can be $500 or sometimes even more. Sometimes you get this money back if your insurance company is able to get reimbursement of costs from the at-fault driver. In some cases, the at-fault driver may pay that deductible for you.
You have the option to pay up front for all the costs and seek reimbursement from your insurance carrier after the repairs have been made. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, or if you think the claim could get complicated, you always have the option to seek a skilled lawyer.