A major concern following an auto accident is ‘what am I going to do without a vehicle?’ or ‘what about my car?’. There are several avenues you can pursue to get your car fixed a.s.a.p.
You Can Decide if You Want Your Car Repaired or Not
If your car sustained damage, you can choose if you will repair the vehicle or not. However, if the insurance declared your car a ‘total loss’ they may not offer you this option and rather will reimburse you for the fair market value of your vehicle.
If the damage to your vehicle doesn’t bother you, you can pocket the funds your insurance company gave you to cover the cost of auto repairs. You can also request quotes from different auto body shops, and after your insurance gives you the funds for your repairs, you can go somewhere cheaper and pocket the difference.
Be aware, if you choose not to use these funds to repair your vehicle, your insurance company will exclude the cost to repair that damage if you get in another accident in the future.
However, if you still owed money on an auto loan at the time of your accident, you will want to get your vehicle repaired. This will help the market value of your vehicle stay up.
How to Locate Your Vehicle After a Tow
After an auto accident, the police may authorize the towing of your vehicle, especially if you go to the hospital; leaving the scene of the accident. If this is the case, you should receive the contact information for the towing company from the police.
In some instances, your car may be towed without your knowledge. In this case, you can locate your vehicle by visiting your city’s towed vehicle locator website. Here you will need to input your car’s VIN and license plate. You can also call your city’s information hotline or your local police department’s non-emergency line. They should be able to locate your vehicle if you can provide them your vehicle’s VIN and license plate number.
If your car is towed at your discretion, you can choose which towing company to use, and the end destination. Whether that be an autobody shop, your home, or a scrapyard.
If you Were Not At-fault You Can Choose Which Insurance will Cover Your Car Repairs
If you were not at fault for your accident, you can choose which insurance company you want to work with for your vehicle repairs. Whether that be your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if you only have liability insurance on your vehicle, you must go through the at-fault driver’s insurance.
If you choose to repair your vehicle using your own insurance, you will have to pay the deductible associated with your policy before they will begin to cover the desired repairs. In some instances, your insurance may front your deductible, as they will receive full compensation for these repairs from the at-fault driver’s insurance. If your insurance company requires you to pay the deductible, the at-fault driver’s insurance will compensate you once they accept liability. Using your own insurance will ensure your car repairs are completed in a timely manner.
Conversely, if you opt to have your repairs covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance, you will have to wait until they have accepted liability. This will not happen until they have completed their investigation. However, if their insured admits and accepts all liability and fault at the scene of the accident, they may cover your vehicle repairs immediately. Additionally, if you go through the at-fault’s insurance you will not have to pay a deductible.
You Can Choose the Autobody Shop That Repairs Your Vehicle
Your insurance company might recommend repair shops to fix your vehicle. However, the decision is ultimately yours. The companies that your insurance recommends already know how to work with your insurance company; making this process smoother. They also tend to be cheaper than other mechanic shops. They intentionally quote as low as possible in order to continue receiving referrals from your insurance company.
If you decide to find your own repair shop, your insurance may ask you to obtain quotes from at least three separate autobody shops. They likely will only offer to pay for the cheapest quote, or whichever best resembles the repair estimate projected by the insurance adjuster.
What If I’m At-fault?
If you were at-fault, you will have to go through your own insurance company for auto repairs. However, your ability to do so depends on your auto insurance policy. For example, if you only have liability insurance, your insurance company will not cover repairs to your vehicle. If you have collision or comprehensive insurance your insurance company should cover the repair costs to your vehicle.
Do not begin repairs on your vehicle until the adjuster(s) working your claim have had the opportunity to document the damage. Repairing damage before the adjuster sees it, may reduce the value of your claim.
If the repair shop finds more damage to your vehicle while conducting repairs, you should have them notify your insurance company before they fix it. This way you won’t have to pay additional expenses out of pocket.
Notify your insurance company of your accident as soon as possible. Your policy may include certain benefits like a rental vehicle you can use until the mechanic shop completes the repairs.
What If My Car is Totaled?
The term ‘total loss’ applies to vehicles whose repair costs exceed its current market value. If this is the case, you may find yourself in the market for a new car. In order to make your car buying experience better you should:
- Research the fair market value of vehicles you want to purchase,
- Decide on a budget and stick to it,
- Ask about the condition of the title, and
- Test drive the vehicle before you purchase it.
Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to be connected with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!