How to Fix or Replace Your Damaged Car After an Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Micah L. Satterwhite with Sloan Firm.
Figuring out how to replace a damaged car after an accident can be stressful, especially if you don’t know where to start. Factors like your own insurance, the other driver’s insurance, and liable parties can all influence the avenues through which someone may seek compensation.
If you have insurance, it is likely your insurance provider will be able to pay your claim.
The entire purpose of car insurance is to financially protect yourself and your vehicle in the event of a collision. The question of your insurance company helping you after an accident isn’t so much a question of “if” as of quantity. An insurance company may be more willing to pay for a minor fender bender rather than for an entirely new vehicle if yours is totaled. Similarly, if another party is determined to be at fault for the accident, you may also be eligible to receive compensation for your damaged vehicle from their insurance company. If you suspect an insurance claim is being unfairly denied or reduced, you could be a victim of bad faith insurance and should reach out to a car accident attorney immediately.
Immediately after an accident, it’s important to exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver.
This allows you to call your insurance company and give them the information of the other driver and their insurance policy. This can begin the process of investigating whether your damages may be paid out by the other driver’s insurance company, your own, or a combination. If you find yourself involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM), you may wish you had purchased more UIM insurance.
If you find yourself involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, and no UIM insurance added to your policy, you may be out of luck.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, and the accident occurred as a result of their negligent driving, it may be possible to file a claim. However, this is often not a fruitful course of action. Many personal injury attorneys advise that a person who cannot afford adequate insurance is unlikely to have any assets comparable to the damages you and your vehicle suffered. This is why it’s important to be preemptive in regard to potential accidents, and reach out to your insurance provider to discuss your options.
Take caution in what you say.
It’s easy to forget that something as simple as a blanket apology could later be considered an admission of fault, even if you had no part in causing the accident. For this reason, it’s a good idea to let a lawyer do the talking for you. Most of these attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, so price shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, you don’t even have to speak to the involved insurance companies on your own. Simply request the contact information of the adjuster you are speaking with, let them know your lawyer will be in touch, and let your lawyer handle future communications. Refrain from discussing details of the situation as well. It is not uncommon for drivers to assume they must be at fault only to find that the other driver was in reality the primary cause of the accident. To learn more about how to fix or replace your damaged car after an accident, reach out to an insurance expert and/or car accident attorney.