How to Repair Your Car After a Car Accident

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Dealing with an auto accident is a traumatic experience and causes considerable disruption to your life. In addition to recovering from serious injuries and looking for the average car accident settlement, you may also be dealing with a totaled or damaged car. As you decide whether to repair or replace your vehicle, you may wonder who pays for the work. Can you seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy? What about your own insurance policy? Read on to learn more about how to repair your car after a car accident. 

What Type of Insurance Coverage Pays for Car Accident Repairs?

All drivers should know what their insurance policy may or may not cover. Many drivers opt to add additional coverage plans to their existing policy. However, it’s important to know that not all coverage options can help you with your car accident repair.

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance pays for damage caused by a car accident involving another vehicle, person, or object. If your accident left your car completely totaled, collision coverage pays for you to replace your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage may seem to cover all costs associated with an accident. However, comprehensive insurance covers only damages caused by events other than collisions. For example, it covers losses if your car is stolen or damaged in a fire or flood.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist insurance, or UI, protects you if you collide with an uninsured driver. Suppose you require car accident repairs after a collision but learn that the responsible party is not insured. In that case, your uninsured motorist coverage kicks in to cover the extent of your losses.

Underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM, is another form of insurance many drivers opt to purchase. UIM kicks in when you are involved in a collision with an insured driver but find that their coverage policy fails to cover the extent of your damages. For example, suppose your mechanic quotes your car accident repairs at $7,500.00, but the liable driver’s insurance coverage policy only covers $3,000.00 of this cost. In that case, you may use your UIM to cover the difference in repair costs.

Who Pays for My Car Accident Repairs?

If another person is at fault for your collision, there are a couple of ways to recover costs for car accident repairs, including:

  • Recovering the difference in the fair market value of the car before and after the accident,
  • Recover the reasonable cost to repair the vehicle,
  • Choose to pay for repairs through your insurance policy,
  • If the driver does not have auto insurance, pay for the car accident repairs through your coverage plan.

Most people choose to have the liable party’s insurance company pay for their car accident repair.

Finding the Right Car Accident Repair Options

If you decide to have your car accident repairs handled by the responsible party’s insurance company, you should know you have options. 

You, the insurer, and the repair shop may negotiate the following areas:

  • Type of work,
  • Parts, and
  • Labor costs.

You might choose to have your car repaired by your own insurance policy. Once any required deductible outlined in your policy is paid, you may move forward with the necessary repairs to your vehicle. Once the work is completed, your insurance company seeks reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Consider Getting an Attorney

Hiring an attorney after a car accident can help you in several ways. First, a car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal and insurance process and ensure that your rights are protected. Second, they can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for any damages to your vehicle, as well as any medical expenses or lost wages resulting from any injuries. Third, an attorney can also help you negotiate with insurance companies and represent you in court if necessary. It is important to note that the sooner you seek legal representation after a car accident, the better chance you have of securing a favorable outcome.

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