Paying for vehicle damage after a car wreck:
If you are involved in a car wreck that is not your fault, you will probably have two separate claims for recovery: a claim for your damaged vehicle (property damage) and a claim for your injury (bodily injury). The insurance company of the at-fault driver will usually handle these claims separately.
The North Carolina Insurance Commission has forced insurance companies to pay you fairly for your property damage after a car wreck. However, it is still prudent to speak to a personal injury attorney about your property damage claim. At Minick Law Firm, we do not charge out clients anything to assist them with the property damage portion of their injury claim.
Some things to remember when handling your car wreck property damage claim; Speak to the insurance company only about your property damage, not your injury. Anything you say about your injury or treatment could hurt your bodily injury claim. If you are asked to sign anything in order to receive a property damage check, make sure that you are not settling your injury claim. Speak to an attorney to make sure you are only settling your property damage claim.
How Insurance companies settle property damage claims:
- The insurance company is responsible for the cost to repair you vehicle, or the cost to replace your vehicle, whichever is less.
- Whenever the estimated repair is equal to or greater than 75% of the fair market value of your vehicle, your vehicle is considered a “total loss” and will be replaced.
- So long as the parts of equal to or superior to the parts in your vehicle, the Insurance Company may repair your vehicle with used parts.
- Insurance companies are also allowed to use reconditioned and aftermarket parts to repair car accident damage.
- You can decide where your vehicle is repaired. Insurance companies usually have “preferred repair facilities,” but you have a right to decide who repairs your vehicle.
- During the time it takes to fix your car, the at-fault driver’s insurance must pay for a rental car throughout a reasonable repair period.
Your car wreck vehicle damage claim is usually a fairly simple process which you can handle without the help of an attorney. However, if you have been injured in the accident, you may need the help of an attorney. For more information, See my blogs Do you need a lawyer for your car accident case?, and How to recover money for your injuries after a car accident.
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James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.