How to Get Your Car Fixed After a Car Accident
Getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming and traumatizing experience. But what if you knew every detail you needed on how to get your car fixed after a car accident? Certainly, it would make the process a lot easier, but you might still need some assistance from expert professionals.
West Coast Trial Lawyers has some of the very best California car accident lawyers in the country. We have won over $1 billion in case settlements for our clients. With our constant success in helping out numerous personal injury victims on the west coast, you can rest assured that we are the top choice to assist you with all your car accident needs.
Call us today to find out all you need to know about your potential car accident settlements and one of our knowledgeable car accident attorneys will be happy to help you.
Which Insurance Company Should Handle My Car Accident Claim?
If you have been a victim of a car accident, the insurance company you decide to commit to is your choice. However, deciding which insurance company should handle your claims process isn’t a simple decision to make.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages for each insurance company you decide to go with. Part of your decision will depend on if you were responsible for the accident or if the other driver was. The type of insurance coverage you have will also determine what kind of coverage you may be entitled to.
Your Own Insurance
If you decide to go with your own insurance company after a car accident, there are some factors that should be considered.
Whether you are at fault for the accident or not, you can file a claim with your own insurance if you have collision coverage.
Going through your own insurance company is always the fastest option, however, you may be required to pay a deductible up front depending on your insurance provider. Your deductible is an upfront payment that is usually made before your insurance coverage goes into effect.
If the accident happens through no fault of your own, this deductible will be refunded back to you upon confirmation that the other party was at fault. This is because by this time, the at-fault driver's insurance company may have reimbursed your insurance company for all their repair and other miscellaneous costs.
If the accident was caused due to your own negligence you will not be refunded your deductible, and if you don’t have any collision coverage all repair costs will be out of pocket.
You may be able to avoid paying a deductible all together with a good car accident attorney. Consulting with one will ensure you get the best possible outcome from the situation.
The At-Fault Party’s Insurance
Drivers in California are legally required to have liability insurance coverage to protect against injury or property damage of another person.
If the car accident was caused due to another person’s negligence, you have the option of filing a claim with their own insurer.
If you decide to go through this route, you will not have to pay any deductible. However, the disadvantages of going this route make filing a car accident claim difficult without a car accident lawyer.
For one, the other driver’s insurance company has its own best interests at heart. They will try to lowball you and make you accept an offer that is way below what you deserve.
The insurance company will also delay in attending to your claim due to their own investigations needing to be carried out for liability determination. This due process can leave you stranded after your car accident and without a resolution in sight.
With the help of a California car accident attorney, the process of going through the at-fault party’s insurance won't be as tedious.
Who’s Responsible for Paying My Car Repair Bills?
California is an at fault state when it comes to collisions. This means that no
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required for victims, and liable parties are responsible for the costs of injury and repair.
The at-fault driver’s insurance legally owes you money for your car repairs through something known as a tort. A tort is defined as a civil wrong for which liability will be imposed. In a car accident, the at-fault driver has committed a negligent tort, meaning they've acted in a way that was reckless.
Due to this recklessness, the at-fault driver and their insurer are responsible for paying the car repair bills. If the at-fault driver has no coverage, you can file an uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claim under your own insurance if you have one. If the liable party is uninsured and you don’t have UM/UIM coverage, you may need the help of a car accident lawyer to recover the compensations you are entitled to. Speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
How Does Deductible Work After a Car Accident?
Deductibles are usually paid on a per claim basis. What this means is that every time an accident occurs and you file a claim with your insurance, you must pay a deductible.
Fortunately, if the accident occurred through no fault of your own, you will be reimbursed the full amount.
Deductibles typically range anywhere from $100 to $2500 depending on your auto policy and the kind of coverage you selected at the time of purchase.
Whether you have to pay a deductible or not is also dependent on the kind of claim you file. If you file a claim under your collision or comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to pay a deductible.
A good California car accident lawyer will be able to get your deductible bypassed if the car accident was caused by someone else.
Will Going Through My Insurance Increase My Premium?
When getting an auto policy, your driving record is usually taken into account when deciding your insurance rates. If you file an accident claim with your insurance, there is a possibility that your insurance premiums may go up regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not.
Insurance companies generally decide rates based on how much of a risk they believe it would cost them to insure a driver. If an accident is on your file, it would be considered more of a risk for insurance companies to provide you with coverage, especially if you have multiple in which case you would be considered high risk.
If your driving record is clean and the accident was a minor one caused by someone else, there is a chance your insurance premium may remain the same. However, even if your driving record is tainted, it is not permanent and your record will be clean again in a couple of years if you have no more driving infractions.
Can I Choose Which Auto Shop Repairs My Car?
Some insurance companies have preferred auto repair shops that they refer claimants to.
They may forcefully suggest you use them but you are under no obligation to do so.
However, the insurance company may have a cost limit for your own repair shop in order to price match with theirs. Their auto shops may also offer certain price cuts based on existing relationships.
Whether you choose to repair your car with the insurance company's suggested shop or your own preferred shop, there are no implications for your decision.
Am I Required to Fix My Car After an Auto Accident?
You have the privilege of deciding whether you want to go ahead and fix your car after an auto accident, with the money given to you by the insurance company you filed your claim with. You can also decide not to, and choose to keep the money given to you for any reason whatsoever asides car repairs.
However, in doing so, keep in mind that there is a possibility your insurer may ask you to drop your collision coverage or reduce your future compensations. Your insurance company doesn’t want to pay you again for damages they’ve already paid for.
Body damages cause the value of a car to come down. So if you have a lienholder or you are a lender, you will need to get your car fixed.
You are entitled to monetary compensation regardless of if it's for your auto repairs or not.
How Much Will Insurance Reimburse Me?
Insurance companies owe you more than the cost of repair but also monetary compensation for the value depreciation of your car. These are often called Diminution in value damages.
Reimbursements from insurance companies after a California car accident can look different depending on the severity of the accident and the damages involved. There are also certain steps that must first be taken in order to get payment:
- Report accident
- Take necessary pictures and videos
- Get car diagnosis
- Gather evidence from witnesses
- Write a settlement demand letter
- Negotiations with the insurance company
It is only after these steps that payment will be made, whether in installments or in full. Having one of our car accident lawyers will greatly assist you with the claims process, contact one of them today.
Do I Have to Accept The Insurance Company’s Offer?
The first offer the insurance company is going to make you after your car accident is a lowball offer and you should never accept it.
Many car accident victims do not know how to negotiate properly to secure a fair settlement for themselves.
Our California car accident lawyers can ensure you get a proper settlement and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Get a Higher Settlement Through West Coast Trial Lawyers
West Coast Trial Lawyers can get you a higher car accident settlement from the insurance company. We know you deserve compensation worthy of your troubles and we won’t allow the insurance company to rob you of that. Our expert California car accident attorneys are on call 24/7 to assist you.
Call us today at 888-888-9285 or fill out our contact form for free and get in touch with us. We will provide you with all the information you need to know about your car accident and more for free.
They know what they're doing, very well. Not only did I not make a single phone call from the day I hired them, but I also received calls from their case managers and paralegals who want to make sure my treatment was going well. They whole team took care of me. Thank you WCTL for taking full responsibility of my case and getting me an amazing settlement.
I can say with confidence that this team is the best in the business. . . . Dean took the time to really listen and hear me out. He assured me that he was going to move mountains because he believed in me, and he ended up doing just that. I’ve never met a more focused and passionate attorney in my life. If you’re looking for a firm that treats its clients with the utmost respect and care, calling WCTL is a no-brainer. I wouldn't think twice about working with them again in the future.