Getting Your Car Fixed After An Accident
When you have had a motor vehicle accident, you probably do not have the luxury of being able to go without your car for very long. Waiting for the repairs to be completed may be very frustrating, and the process may seem very slow. It can be especially difficult to deal with when you have also been injured in the accident. When the other driver is at fault, there are certain things you should do to make certain that driver’s insurance company pays for the repairs to your car so you can concentrate on your own recovery.
Claims that might be available to you after your auto accident may include both property damage and personal injury claims. These claims are normally handled separately by the insurance companies. Your personal injury attorneys may agree to help you with your claim for property damage in addition to your personal injury claim if they agree to accept your injury case.
Steps to resolve your property damages claim with the insurance company
While most property damage claims will eventually be resolved, there are certain steps you can take to make reaching a fair settlement for your damages faster. Here are some actions you can take in order to reach a quicker resolution to your claim for property damages.
- After the accident, take your vehicle to a mechanic you trust and ask them for an estimate to repair it. Do not get it fixed until the company has also had an insurance adjuster look at it, too.
- Call your insurance company. After you have notified them about the accident, the company may ask you to take your car to a shop they choose or they may send an adjuster to inspect it. Some companies might do both.
- After the company has received the estimate from the adjuster or the shop the company chose, you will be able to decide where you want to take your car. Insurance companies can not keep you from taking your car to your preferred mechanic (see: car insurance company warnings) They may, however, try to make it hard for you if you decide to take your car to a mechanic who is not approved by the company. If the estimate the insurance company has is significantly lower than the one you got from your mechanic, you can ask the company to call your mechanic. When they do, ask them to tell your mechanic exactly why the company’s estimate is so much lower and ask your mechanic to then explain it to you.
- When you talk to the insurance adjuster, keep your deductible in mind. You will want to ask the adjuster how much the company is willing to pay you. If your car only needs a minor repair and it will not exceed your deductible amount, keep in mind you might have to pay the cost out of your pocket.
- It is common for mechanics to find additional damage when they are making repairs. If this happens, ask your mechanic to call the adjuster and explain what they found.
It is possible that you will not be able to reach an agreement with the insurance company about the amount of repairs your vehicle needs or the cost of them. If that happens, you can choose to hire an appraiser to evaluate the damage amount and value of your car. Then, you can use those findings to try to negotiate an agreement with the insurance company.
After your vehicle has been repaired by your insurance company, you or the adjuster can then call the responsible driver’s insurance company. That company will then have to pay your insurance company back. It is also possible in some cases for you to call the at-fault party’s insurance company from the start. If that is the approach you use, you can expect to go through the process as outlined above with that company rather than with your own.
Dealing with an insurance company and waiting to get your car fixed after an accident can be very frustrating. If you are able to stand up for yourself and understand what your rights are in the process, you may be better able to reach an agreement that is fair. This can help you to get the amount you need for your property damages so you can get back on the road. If you are having trouble with your damages claim, do not hesitate to talk to your car accident lawyer at Cantor Crane for help with resolving it more quickly.