Are you currently fighting with an insurance company to have your vehicle repaired after an accident? Being in a motor vehicle accident is a stressful event. If you only suffer minor physical damages, you must still deal with the hassle, stress, and inconvenience of having your vehicle repaired. Even minor vehicle damage can result in your vehicle being in the shop for several days, as well as, a substantial repair bill.
You want to ensure that the insurance company for the other driver treats your property damage claim in a fair and just manner. Your goal is to have your vehicle repaired as soon as possible, but you also want to make sure your vehicle is repaired correctly. Mistakes with repair work can substantially decrease the value of your vehicle. The first step is to decide if you are filing a claim against your insurance coverage or the other driver’s insurance coverage.
Does My Insurance Company Pay To Repair My Vehicle?
If the collision is your fault, your insurance company pays to repair your vehicle if you have collision insurance. In the event you do not carry collision insurance, you will be responsible for paying to have your car repaired after a traffic accident. In some cases, you may want to file a claim against your insurance policy even if the other driver is at fault.
Benefits of filing a claim against your insurance coverage even if the other driver is at fault include:
- Your insurance company will not be trying to deny your claim based on fault. The other driver’s insurance company must determine its insured is at fault before it agrees to pay for repairs. Therefore, you may get your car repaired quicker if you file a claim against your insurance coverage.
- Filing a claim against your insurance coverage will not raise your insurance rates if you were not at fault for the collision.
- Your insurance company will pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance for reimbursement of the cost to repair your vehicle if the other driver is at fault.
However, there is one major disadvantage in filing a claim against your insurance policy when you are not at fault for a traffic accident:
- You must pay your deductible to have your vehicle fixed. If the other driver is at fault and his insurance pays for repairs, you will not be required to pay any money out-of-pocket for repairs to your vehicle. Furthermore, the insurance company will provide you with a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired.
Other Helpful Tips When Dealing With Repairs After A Car Accident
Some other tips that you may find helpful include:
- Document the damage to your vehicle with photographs. Take pictures of your vehicle as soon as possible after the collision. Do not forget to take photographs of any damage underneath the vehicle and inside the vehicle.
- Obtain several written repair estimates. To ensure everything is being repaired, obtain repair estimates from several repair shops to compare the list of damages and the costs of repairs.
- Choose your own repair shop. If the insurance company tries to force you to have your vehicle repaired at a certain shop, contact a car accident attorney immediately. You should have the right to choose your own repair shop.
- Make sure new parts are used in the repairs. Many insurance companies authorize the repair shop to utilize reconditioned parts, used parts, and aftermarket parts (parts made by another manufacturer). These parts can be substantially inferior to the parts your vehicle manufacturer recommends for your vehicle. The insurance company has a duty to return your vehicle to the condition it was before the accident. Discuss this matter with a car accident attorney immediately.
- Ask to be notified if new damage is discovered. If the repair shop discovers additional damage, it contacts the insurance company to obtain approval to make the additional repairs. You want to know about this additional damage in advance to the repairs being made to question if the repairs will substantially decrease the vehicle’s safety or value.
What If I Disagree With The Repair Costs?
If you disagree with the insurance company regarding the repair costs, you can try obtaining written appraisals from other repair shops so you can argue with the insurance adjuster. However, the process of arguing with the insurance company could take a long time, and you may never resolve the dispute.
Instead of taking on the insurance company by yourself, contact a car accident attorney with The Ken Nunn Law Office. You can contact our office at 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536. Our Indiana car accident attorneys offer free legal consultations and free case evaluations after an accident.