No driver, unfortunately, is insured against a car accident. After a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, drivers have several options for getting their compensation for vehicle repair. While the damaged vehicle is in the process of repairing, the at-fault driver or his or her insurer is also liable for the payment of renting a similar vehicle. However, just because another driver is at fault does not guarantee that the responsible party will pay up without a fight.
Who is Responsible for Paying Your Car Repair Bills?
The negligent driver who is the “at fault” party for the car accident, shall be responsible to compensate you for the caused injuries. However, if you have collision coverage, you can decide to seek compensation from the insurer. In any case, the right option for you is to file a notification with the negligent driver as you can later decide that the best option for you is to seek compensation from him.
If you have optional collision insurance, the insurer is obliged to pay the costs of repairing the vehicle, regardless of the fact who is the liable party in the accident. This kind of insurance is not mandatory under California law; however, many drivers obtain it. The insurer afterward is eligible to seek reimbursement from the other driver who is at fault of the accident.
In case you do not have collision coverage, you have several options to decide on:
- Pay for repairment yourself and seek reimbursement,
- Settle the claim directly with the liable driver in case the latter does not have insurance,
- Sue the liable driver and seek compensation personally.
Reporting the accident to your insurance company can be mandatory under numerous policies. Also, not reporting the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles can even lead to criminal liabilities.
How to Prove the Existence of Property Damages?
The best solution for proving property damages is the collection of necessary evidence. This can be:
- Photos of the damaged vehicle,
- Details of witnesses of the accident, if there were any,
- Write everything about the accident as soon as possible to fix each and every piece of information which can be further used.
The insurance shall determine who was liable for the accident based on the photos, testimonies of witnesses, reparation estimates, police report of the accident, etc.
Your Car’s Value and Repair Costs
An insurer’s only legal obligation is to compensate you for damages up to the value of your vehicle. If you’ve received a couple of repair estimates and it appears that the cost of repairs will exceed the value of your car, your insurer may declare it a total loss.
In this case, you have the right to receive:
- Actual cash value of your vehicle-the reasonable amount which is necessary to replace your vehicle with a comparable used one,
- Replacement cash value-the value to replace your vehicle with a comparable new one.
To get the most available amount of compensation for the damages, you will definitely need professional legal advice.
What if You Caused the Damage to Your Vehicle?
If you caused damage to your own vehicle – for example, by driving off the road or colliding with a tree or fence. You’d have to pay for it yourself or file a claim against your own collision coverage, if you have it.
If the damage isn’t severe, you may want to pay for repairs yourself rather than through your own policy’s coverage. This could raise your car insurance premium and cost you more money in the long run.
Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of another’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation. If that is the case, contact our Glendale personal injury lawyer today for a consultation and case review. Please feel free to give our office a call at 310.943.1171.