Has Your Car Been Damaged an Auto Accident?
Understand Your Legal Options
If your vehicle has been damaged in a motor vehicle crash, you have two options for how to handle your property damage claim. If you were at fault for the crash, you will need to go through your own insurance company to handle the claim.
However, if you were not at fault for the crash, you can use the at fault driver’s insurance. This process may seem daunting, but this article should help you resolve your property damage claim like a pro.
Dealing with your own insurance company after a crash
If you were at fault for the crash then you will have to go through your own insurance company. You will want to review your policy and see what sort of coverage to see what all your policy will help you with.
Under most policies you will be entitled to a rental car, and your repairs will be subject to a deductible. A deductible means that you will not have to pay for all of your car’s repairs, but you will have to pay for a portion of the expenses.
Generally, you are also entitled to getting new parts for your car, you don’t have to settle for aftermarket or used parts, the insurance company is responsible for restoring your vehicle to how it was before the crash.
In North Carolina you are entitled to take your vehicle wherever you choose, you do not have to take it to wherever your insurance company wants you to take it. Be sure to choose a repair shop that you trust.
How to Handle Your Own Property Damage:
An Asheville Car Crash Lawyer Explains (Part 1)
Dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
When you are not at fault for the accident then you will generally want to go through the person’s insurance that hit you. When you go through the other driver’s insurance you will not have to pay a deductible because it was their policy holder’s fault that your vehicle was damaged.
It is the insurance company’s responsibility to restore your vehicle to how it was before the accident or to replace it with an equivalent vehicle. You can take your vehicle to where you want to get it repaired and you are entitled to a rental car or the equivalent cost of a rental that is similar to the damaged vehicle for a reasonable period of time while your vehicle is being fixed.
You are also entitled to compensation for the loss of value on your car after the crash. This is known as diminution in value. Think of it this way, if two identical cars are for sale, but one has been in a crash, the one that has not been wrecked has a higher value.
If your vehicle is not able to be repaired because it has been totaled, you are entitled to be paid the full value of the totaled vehicle. You can research values for a vehicle of the same make, model, year and condition on your own from numerous resources, including NADA and Kelley Blue Book.
You’ll also want to see what dealerships and private sellers are listing the car for when selling it. Take an average of these values and you’ll have a rough idea of what a fair settlement amount may be. At the end of the day this is about restoring to you what has been taken. If you were not at fault, then you shouldn’t have to take on additional burdens.
One final note, if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not cooperating, you can often turn to your own insurance company to handle the claim. Since it was not your fault, doing so should typically not impact your premiums, and if you do have to pay a deductible, your own insurance company may be able to return it to you once they are repaid by the at-fault driver’s insurance for the claim.
Using the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance:
An Asheville Car Crash Lawyer Explains (Part 2)
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While you can typically handle the property damage claim on your own, if you were also injured in the crash, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. Handling a personal injury claim on your own can be difficult and daunting.
The Asheville Auto Accident Lawyers at Fisher Stark P.A.
The car accident legal team at Fisher Stark, P.A. understands the law regarding all kinds of car accident injuries. We are trial attorneys that will help you find out what your options are and prepare your case to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
We work hard to help our clients recover the monetary compensation that they deserve for their medical bills, pain and suffering, human losses, and loss of income.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys have tried cases throughout Western North Carolina: Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard, Waynesville, and surrounding cities and counties.
Contact us now if you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in an auto accident and are experiencing health issues or pain from the crash. Let our personal injury experience go to work for you. We invite you to contact us to see if we can help you. Call today for a free case evaluation at 828-505-4300.
We will work hard to get you the justice & fair compensation you deserve. Fisher Stark, P.A. is a highly respected personal injury law firm in Asheville, NC. We provide experienced legal help for clients in Asheville, NC, and all the communities in Western North Carolina. Collectively, our legal team – Perry Fisher and Brad Stark – have more than 50 years of trial practice and have participated in more than 1,000+ injury cases. Call 828-505-4300 for a free consultation.