Post-Accident Auto Repair Compensation
After you’ve contacted your insurance company following a car accident, various factors come into play regarding compensation for repairs.
In a “no-fault” state, no-fault insurance covers your economic damages up to the policy limits, regardless of fault. No-fault insurance does not cover vehicular damage. It is wise to purchase collision coverage to tie up that important loose end. You can also file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver—fault comes into play in vehicular-damage situations in both “no-fault” and “fault” states.
An at-fault driver will be responsible for paying (typically via their insurance) for the repairs of the innocent party, up to the policy limits. If the policy limits come up short of what you need, you will have to file a claim against your own insurance company to cover the difference.
If repair estimates exceed the value of your vehicle, your vehicle will probably be declared a total loss. You will receive the Blue Book value for your car.
If you have collision coverage, it will pay for your repairs if you were at fault for the accident. In some circumstances, it may be better to pay your repair bill out of pocket (if it’s not too steep) to prevent a potential premium hike that might cost you more in the long run.
You are free to take your car to your own mechanic for repairs. Your mechanic will often go to bat for you if they deem your estimated damages are too low. If the issue can’t be resolved to your satisfaction, you can file a legal claim. An experienced auto accident attorney can protect your interests.