After an accident, one of the first things people are usually worried about is what to do about repairing their property damage to their car. After all, even if they have been injured, they still need to get their car repaired so they can get around town.
So, what do you need to know about getting your property damage repaired after you’ve been in a car accident?
The first and most important factor to determine in getting your car repaired is who was at fault for the accident. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Was the accident my fault?
2. Is fault being disputed? Or,
3. Was the accident another driver’s fault?
Let’s look at each of these 3 situations.
If the accident was your fault, do you have collision coverage under your policy?
If so, get your own insurance company to repair your car, unless the damage is so minor you can take care of it on your own.
But, if the repair costs are substantial, your insurance company will pay the costs of repairs less your deductible
If you don’t have collision coverage, you will have to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket
Second situation – what if fault is disputed?
Well you probably won’t be able to get the other driver’s insurance to pay for it. Most likely you will still have to let your own insurance pay for the repairs less your deductible if you have collision insurance.
Or, once again,, if you don’t have collision coverage, you are probably stuck with having to pay for the repair costs yourself.
What if the wreck was the other driver’s fault?
Then even if you have collision coverage, you will want to see if the other driver’s insurance will pay for your property damage. Why? Because the other side’s liability insurance will have to pay the full cost of repairs, and you won’t have to pay any deductible.
Here is what you must do if the wreck is the other side’s fault:
1. Get a copy of the police report
2. Liability must be clear, e.g. the accident involved a rear-end collision, the other driver ran a stop sign, failed to yield the right-of-way, etc.
3. Look for the other driver’s insurance company on the police report.
4. Find the toll-free number to report the claim to the other driver’s insurance company (easily found on the internet) and call them to report the claim.
5. The claim should then be assigned to an adjuster who should be in contact with you.
6. A liability decision should be made within a few days. They will probably want to contact their own insured driver to verify fault.
7. If they agree to accept liability for your property damage, they should also provide you with a rental vehicle.
If you have any questions about what to do about your property damage after an accident, please feel free to contact our office.