If you vehicle is ruined in a vehicle accident, you will want to get it repaired. There are many factors that will determine who will pay for the repairs. Some of the considerations include the state where the accident occurred, who is liable for the crash, the amount of insurance coverage that the at-fault driver has, and the amount of insurance coverage you have. The following web page will take a look at some of these variables.
Negligence Vs No-Fault States
Liability for vehicle accidents is premised on negligence. In no-fault states, there are exceptions to the negligence rule. In these states, your auto insurance company will pay for any damages resulting from an accident regardless of who is to blame. However, some no-fault states do not apply this rule to vehicle damage. In fault states, you must prove the negligence of the other driver to receive damages from their insurer.
It does not matter if a car crash took place in a fault or no fault state; the liable insurance provider only pays for the amount of vehicle damage equivalent to its policy limits. Let’s say you are in a fault state, and the at-fault driver caused damages to your car worth $10,000, but they only have coverage worth $5,000, their insurance company will pay $5,000 for your car repairs.
Repair Cost Exceed the Value of Your Car
An insurance company can only pay damages worth the value of your vehicle. If repair expenses are more than the cost of your vehicle, the insurance company will declare your vehicle a total loss. In such cases, the insurer will pay you the blue book value of your vehicle, also called the actual cash value. After you receive this amount, the damaged vehicle belongs to the insurer. It is worth noting that, in property damage cases, the amount you can recover for your claim is determined by the market value of the property during the time of the incident. Therefore, the initial amount you paid for the vehicle is irrelevant.
Using Your Policy’s Collision Coverage
Collision coverage makes sure you are reimbursed for car damage when the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance, or when you are to blame for the incident. If the at-fault driver has enough coverage, you cannot seek recovery from your insurer’s collision coverage.
Using Your Policy’s Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive coverage applies to vehicle damage arising when a vehicle is parked when an accident takes place. Comprehensive coverage applies to both vehicle accidents and any other damage like objects falling on your vehicle. Like collision coverage, if the at-fault driver has enough coverage, you cannot recover damages from your own comprehensive coverage. There is no need to prove liability if your vehicle was parked. In these cases, it is assumed that when a person hits a parked vehicle, the driver is at fault.
You are at Fault for the Car Damage
If you are liable for your vehicle’s damages, you would have to cover the costs for damage yourself. Alternatively, you can claim compensation from your collision coverage policy. However, for minor damages, it would not be wise to make a claim against your own policy, as this would lead to increased insurance premiums.
The Process of Getting Your Car Repaired
The first step in getting your vehicle repaired is reporting the incident. The next step is to have the car inspected by the insurer. After an inspection, the insurer will derive an estimate for the damages. Once you receive the insurer’s estimate, you need to take the car to the mechanic to see whether the insurer’s amount is acceptable. If the mechanic finds the estimate to be too low, they will discuss the details with the insurance adjuster. If the mechanic and your insurance adjuster are in agreement, repairs on your car will commence.
If your car has been damaged in an accident, whether a fender bender or a hit and run, contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney today.