Making an Insurance Claim for a Vehicle Damaged in An Accident | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

Making an Insurance Claim for a Vehicle Damaged in An Accident

Accident Injury Lawyers

There are generally two avenues for making an insurance claim to have your vehicle repaired or replaced after an accident. First, you can go through your own insurance company if you have collision coverage, regardless of whether you or another person caused the accident. Second, you can make a claim to the adverse driver’s insurance carrier if the adverse driver caused the accident. Here are some points to consider when making a claim as to damage to your vehicle.

Is any process faster? If the adverse party accepts liability, the process should take about the same amount of time, regardless of whether you go through your carrier or the adverse carrier. If the adverse party’s insurance company is investigating liability, it may be faster to go through your own insurance company. The downside of going through your own carrier is that you may have a deductible. However, if you are not at fault for the accident, your insurance company will likely make a subrogation claim to the adverse driver’s carrier to be reimbursed for payments it made to you, and it should also be getting enough funds to reimburse you for the deductible. On the downside, if the adverse driver does not have a sufficient amount of insurance coverage for property damage, your insurance carrier may not be able to recover the amount of your deductible.

Where should I get my vehicle fixed? You pick the repair shop to fix your vehicle. There are some excellent repair shops around the valley. In choosing a repair shop, make sure they will look for all damage caused by the accident. You don’t want a shop to simply put on a new bumper if there is damage behind the bumper or wheel wells that should be repaired. Dealerships are often a good choice because they usually mandate that repairs be done to factory standard.

Can I get a rental vehicle? If you have rental coverage, you can through your own insurance company to get a vehicle. If the adverse driver’s insurance company accepts liability, then you should be able to get a rental vehicle through that company or get reimbursed for rental expenses. Please note that the rental vehicle must be returned immediately once payment is made to fix or replace your vehicle.

Can I recover for the diminished value of my vehicle? If you try to sell or trade-in a vehicle that has been in an accident, you are generally confronted with a lower vehicle value due to the accident. Therefore, after an accident, if your vehicle is repaired (not replaced), you can make a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle to the adverse driver’s carrier. Generally, you cannot recover diminished value through your own insurance.

Protect Yourself: I often hear people say they purchased only liability coverage because they don’t think insuring their own car is necessary or their car isn’t worth enough for them to get coverage. However, this may leave a vehicle owner without any recourse if an uninsured driver causes the accident. It can be extremely frustrating if you did not cause an accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance to fix or replace your car. Without insurance, the ability to fix your car or purchase a replacement vehicle may be impeded, as you may have mounting medical bills, the injuries that may impede your ability to work, and the lack of any transportation could cause you to lose work and income.

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