Your car is a major investment and an essential part of your life. When you’ve been in an accident that damaged this important possession, you want it fixed fast.
Dealing with all the red tape that goes along with a motor vehicle collision bogs the process down. You might be ready to have the car fixed. The mechanic is ready to fix it. But the insurance is still stuck in red tape quicksand.
The goal is to prevent this stressful situation from happening and get you back on the road again quickly. With these steps, you can learn how to get your car repaired after an accident with as few delays as possible.
Dealing with insurance is like entering another world. Even if you want to fit it, you don’t speak the same language, and not everyone wants to teach it to you.
The rules change based on things like what state you’re in, who was at fault, and the type of coverage you have.
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you could have a choice of which insurance company to use. Going through your insurance is faster, but you’re responsible for the deductible. Using the at-fault party’s insurance means you don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket.
All of this ends up getting confusing. Insurance adjusters are focused on looking out for the best interest of their company, not you. You need someone on your side to help you understand your rights.
A personal injury attorney knows the ins and outs of car accident legalities. If you’re considering hiring a lawyer but haven’t decided if you need one yet, read this resource by JT Legal Group.
You already called your insurance company and let them know about the accident. At that time, you probably didn’t file a claim for damages.
This part is done once you know which insurance company you’re going to use. When you have an attorney, your legal representative can handle this part for you.
It saves you the headache of dealing with the red tape and insurance adjusters who might want to twist your words.
It’s common to feel helpless right about now, but you aren’t! The insurance company and body shop are in control of the dollar amount of damage your car has. What you do with that amount is up to you.
You have options. If the company decides your car is totaled, you don’t have to keep the car. You can take the money that the insurance considers “fair market value” instead. It’s yours to keep or to put toward a new vehicle.
Maybe your car is damaged, but not so badly that you want to pay the deductible or deal with a rental. In that case, the insurance company will still write you a check, and you can choose not to have the damage fixed.
(Note: There could be consequences of this. Talk to a lawyer to get the details before you take this route.)
One more thing: You can still negotiate the amount they offer you on a totaled car. If you can prove your car is worth more than they say, you might be able to get paid more. Don’t accept any offer without talking to an attorney first.
Your insurance company likely has repair shops in your area that they work with. They’ll recommend these places, but you don’t have to use them.
Even if it’s the one that has your vehicle and gave the estimate, it’s not essential that you go there. Let the insurance company know who is going to do the repairs. They may write the check directly to the body shop with you as a co-recipient.
But if the business the insurance wants you to use is backed up and you know someone who can get it done faster, why wait?
Don’t let the insurance company try to tell you there are places that you must use. If they do, you should look into getting a lawyer to help you. If they’re already giving you a problem now, they will later, too.
The stress of being in a car accident is hard enough. You don’t need to deal with the hassle of haggling with your insurance to get your car fixed or paying for a rental.
These tips will guide you as you handle the red tape that comes with filing an insurance claim. When you know what you’re doing, it gets done faster!