Car accidents are scary. They’re also stressful, confusing, and, in many cases, expensive. After the initial smoke of the collision has cleared, many accident victims are left with major credit card debt and serious property damage. If you’re confused about your finances after a wreck, keep reading – we’ve got all the information you need to get reimbursed for your property damage.
In most states, the driver who caused the accident will generally be held responsible for the damage they’ve done. Their insurance company will pay for any repairs and property damage caused by the crash. While the process of determining who is at fault can take some time, investigations can usually determine which driver is to blame.
In some cases, though, fault isn’t clear. When neither driver is obviously at fault, recouping the costs of car repairs can be an uphill battle. Anyone who is struggling to get their car accident claim paid out by the insurance company should consider working with a lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney can protect your best interests while negotiating the best possible settlement for your claim.
When fault is clear and the insurance company agrees to pay for your car repairs, you may be required to shell out for a deductible. This is typically only owed if you were at fault for the crash and your insurance policy includes a specific deductible amount. If the collision was caused by the other driver, you may be able to get your deductible reimbursed. Still, anyone involved in an accident who files a claim with their own insurance company should expect to pay a deductible for repairs.
Should you decide to file a claim with the insurance company of the other driver, you will not be required to pay a deductible. In such cases, the insurance company may even offer to pay for a rental car for you to use while your vehicle is being repaired. Typically, though, the insurer will only make repairs and pay for rental cars when their policyholder was clearly at fault in the crash.
Cash Now Versus Reimbursement Later
A car accident isn’t something you plan for, and if you were living paycheck to paycheck before the incident, a crash can be financially devastating. Unfortunately, though, you may be asked to shoulder repair costs upfront and be reimbursed by the insurance company later. Settlements can take months and even years to finalize, so without cash on hand, you may be stuck waiting to repair your vehicle.
There are options, of course, for those who can’t afford to shell out for car repairs right away. Talk with your insurance company about making a claim, even if you weren’t to blame for the crash. They may offer financial solutions to help you repair your vehicle while they pursue the at-fault driver for the settlement. While a deductible may indeed be required for such a claim, you can ultimately include it in your total financial damages caused by the wreck and be reimbursed down the line.
When Uninsured Motorists are Involved
We assume that everyone on the road has auto insurance, but that’s not always the case. When you get into a crash with an uninsured motorist, your own insurance company can help – so long as you have uninsured motorist coverage. This is mandatory in many states, as it helps offset the financial impact of accidents involving uninsured drivers.
If you were uninsured at the time of the accident, you’ll have to pay for all repairs out of pocket. If you caused the wreck, you may be sued by the other driver for damages. Since driving without insurance is illegal in most places, you may also face legal penalties. Fines, loss of license, and even jail time are all possible. You’ll want to find a lawyer to help represent you in the face of such ramifications.
Filing a Lawsuit
In some cases, you may need to file a lawsuit to recoup the costs of property damage caused by the crash. While most accident claims are settled out of court, some are escalated to lawsuits when fault can’t be clearly determined. There is real risk in going to court – it’s expensive, time-consuming, and may not work out the way you hope it does. Before you decide you need to file a lawsuit against the other driver and their insurance company, consider talking with a car accident lawyer.
Lawsuit Info Center can connect you with an experienced attorney in your area. In many cases, these lawyers offer free consultations to new clients. Many personal injury lawyers work on commission, too. This means you won’t pay any attorney’s fees unless they recover a settlement on your behalf. While not every car accident warrants legal representation, an attorney is a valuable ally who can help ensure your car repairs are covered.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with a car crash lawyer today.