When your motor vehicle is damaged in an accident, you will want to have it repaired and on the road again as quickly as possible.
Who decides where my motor vehicle can be repaired?
You do. However, the insurance company decides how much will be paid for the repairs, and it may not be the same amount as the repair shop estimate.
Will I be charged for storage?
The insurance company of the person who caused the accident will pay towing and storage costs, according to what is reasonable in your area. If the vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurance company will pay to have it moved to a wrecking or salvage yard. If you refuse to allow the company to move your vehicle, you will be held liable for any storage or towing fees.
Who decides if my vehicle is repairable or "totaled"?
The insurance company who is liable for payment decides whether your vehicle is not worth repairing. If the cost of the labor and parts exceeds the market value of your vehicle, the company can declare it a "total loss" and pay you the market value. Market value is determined by the fair market value of similar vehicles in your area, or from an independent source such as the Kelley Blue Book. If you want to keep the vehicle after it has been declared a total loss, you will have to pay the salvage value to the insurance company.
Who pays the bank loan if my vehicle is financed?
You will still be liable for any loans on the vehicle. If the fair market value of your vehicle is less than the outstanding loan, you are still required to pay the entire amount of the loan.
You can always get a rental vehicle if you are willing to pay for it. If the other driver caused the accident, then you can expect their insurance company to pay the costs of providing you with a rental vehicle. The vehicle will be a substitute for your own vehicle, that is, a vehicle of similar quality. If you want your own insurance company to pay for it while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced, then payment depends on several factors. If you caused the accident, check to see if your own insurance coverage includes rental vehicles. Many policies do not include rental vehicles unless it is specifically stated. Be sure to check with your own insurance company about insurance coverage on the rental vehicle, no matter who pays for its rental.
I just paid for my license plates. Do I have to pay for new ones?
After prorating the amount of any registration fees that are unused, the insurance company should compensate you, as well as any transfer fees for the new registrations.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death as the result of a motor vehicle accident, call VanDerGinst Law at 1-866-843-7367 or click here for a FREE online case evaluation. The initial consultation is free of charge. If we agree to handle your injury case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if, and when, there is a money recovery for you. In many cases a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. So please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
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Links on the WebBeginning Teenage Drivers - Advice for parents and educators on how new drivers can avoid motor vehicle accidents.
The 2007 Guide To Buying A Safer Car - Includes crash worthiness and accident data.
U.S. Traffic Accidents Lawyers