Who should pay for your car’s repairs after an accident? What are your options? The party liable for the collision is most often the one to cater for the repair costs. However, other factors such as the type of your coverage or whether or not the at-fault driver is insured will also come into play. Here’s a look at your repair options and insurance liability after a car accident.
Who is to Blame for the Accident?
As stated, the driver who is responsible for causing the crash is liable for the cost of repairs ranging from small scratches to major bodywork. When the car is considered a “total loss,” the at-fault driver will compensate you for the actual cash or market value of the car the time of the crash. This is the case even in states where no-fault insurance laws are applicable. That said, being at fault for the accident is one issue but who pays for the repairs is quite another. Below is a look at some options:
The At-Fault Driver’s Property Damage Liability Coverage
The law requires that every driver buys liability insurance for his or her car. After a collision, the property damage liability coverage is used to pay cater for damages to your vehicle. In essence, this means that if another motorist is to blame for the accident, the at-fault driver insurance provider will pay for your car’s repairs. You can also file a claim with the insurer directly. But, what happens if the at-fault driver is not insured or if you are to blame for the accident? What if the other driver is to blame but you want to get your car back on the road as soon as possible instead of waiting for the insurer to fix the vehicle?
Use Your Collision Coverage
If you have collision coverage, you can turn to your insurance provider for repairs. Collision coverage caters for the repair costs of your car after an accident or total cash value if the vehicle is beyond repair up to the coverage limits irrespective of who is to blame for the crash. Note that if you use your collision coverage to cater for repairs, you will pay the deductible which typically starts at $500. You can recover the deductible in some situations, such as when your insurance provider pays you and later pursues reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Pay for the Repairs and Seek Reimbursement
Paying for the repairs out of pocket and seeking compensation, later on, is the fastest way to get your car back on the road. Take caution not to overpay for the repairs because you may not get a full reimbursement. Also, if controversy arises as to who was to blame for the accident, it may take relatively long before being reimbursed. At times, you may never get compensated.
Get a Lawyer
Car accident claims procedures are hectic. One mistake could mean forfeiting your right make a claim. Before you file a claim, talk to a car accident lawyer in your area so that he or she can help you with the basics. You are better off doing things right.