Getting Your Car Repaired After An Auto Accident
When you’ve been the victim of an automobile accident due to someone else’s carelessness, dealing with insurance adjuster to get your car repaired can be challenging. However, you can often handle your property damage on your own if you have access to the right information.
You Are Entitled To Receive:
1) Costs of reasonable repairs
2) Difference in the value of your vehicle if the value changes because of the accident.
You Are NOT Entitled To:
1) Recover for the inconvenience of dealing with your property damage claim
2) Recover for time lost from work as a result of handling the claim
Who Do I Contact?
To get your car repaired, you will work with a property damage adjuster and/or appraiser form the claims office of either your automobile insurance company or the insurance company for the responsible driver. You should call and report the claim. Then, the insurance company will give you a claim number and directions on when and where your car will be inspected.
How to Select a Body Shop
Your choice of body shops is a matter which you can negotiate with the negligent driver’s insurance company. While you have the legal right to select the body shop you prefer, the insurance company is only required to compensate you for reasonable repair costs.
What if the Insurance Estimate is Too Low?
If the estimate given by the insurance company’s shop is far lower than the estimate you received from the repair service you prefer:
1) Ask your repairman to discuss the difference between the estimates with the insurance adjuster. You may be able to work out a compromise.
2) If no agreement can be reached, you can choose to accept the insurance carrier’s repair estimate, pay your preferred repair shop to do the work and then file a lawsuit against the responsible party, or turn the claim over to your insurance company for recovery under your policy’s Collision provisions.
If your car was totaled in the accident, see how to handle that claim in the second part of our article here.