Being involved in a car accident can cause all sorts of trouble in your life. Not only do you have to deal with possible injuries and stress of the situation, but the expense of such an unfortunate situation can be immense. With the right car accident attorney, you have a better chance of getting your car repairs paid for and back on the road, or payment for your car’s value if its state is too far gone thanks to damages. Here are some tips on how to proceed when your car has been damaged in an accident.
Who Is Responsible For Paying For The Repairs?
The party who is responsible to pay for repairs depends on the state in which you have your car accident. Paterson residents live within New Jersey’s No-Fault boundaries. Make sure you research the specific No-Fault rules that apply for New Jersey before trying to get your car damage paid for. Some of these states require your insurance company to cover car repairs, while in others, insurance coverage doesn’t apply to damage to your vehicle.
What Are The Insurer’s Policy Limits?
No matter which party is responsible for payment, that person’s insurance company will pay out only up to the amount limited by the insurance policy. This means that, no matter whether you were responsible for damaging your vehicle or not, you may still have to cover some of the repair costs yourself.
What Do I Do If My Car Is Valued Lower Than The Repair Costs?
Insurance companies are only required to pay for repairs up to the monetary value of your car. This does not mean the amount you may have bought your new car for, but rather the amount at which it is valued now. This same general rule applies to basically any property damage claim. In many cases, if the car costs less than the repairs it needs, the insurer will pay you what it’s worth and claim the car.
What Is Comprehensive Coverage?
This type of insurance coverage is used when a car incurs damages whilst being parked, from things such as hit and runs or trees that fall on the car during a storm. You can generally assume that you were not at fault if your car was damaged while parked, so you don’t have to worry about finding fault in these incidents.
What If You Were At Fault?
If you were at fault in your car accident —by possibly running off the road and hitting a fence—you might have to make a claim against your insurance company’s policy if you have collision coverage, though this may raise your car insurance premium and cost you more in the long run. If the damages were particularly minimal, you may just want to consider paying for the repairs yourself.
Getting Repairs Paid For
The first thing you should do after being involved in a car accident is report it and make a claim. Afterwards, the insurance company will likely have the car inspected. They will either have you drive the car to their inspection station, or if the car is not in drivable condition, they will send an inspector to you.
After inspection, they will come up with an estimate for covering the cost of the repairs. Take your car to a mechanic—you are not obligated to use the mechanic recommended by the insurance company—and see if they will fix it for the estimated amount. If not, they might be willing to talk to an adjuster and work out the price themselves.
When To Get A Car Accident Attorney
If you cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company that fairly covers the cost of your car repairs, it’s a good idea to get an experienced car accident attorney involved. Residents of Paterson, New Jersey should feel at ease calling Peter Davis Law with any car accident claim needs. Don’t hesitate — contact us today!