Where you get your car fixed after an accident is up to you. But if you file a claim with your auto insurance company or the other driver’s insurer, the insurers may recommend shops where you can get car repair estimates.
Typically, insurers want to have damaged vehicles inspected and get repair estimates before paying to have vehicles fixed.
Using Repair Shops an Insurer Recommends
You do not have to get your car fixed after an accident at an insurer’s preferred repair shop. But there are some advantages to using a shop that an insurer recommends.
Auto shops that contract with insurers to do repair work usually have to meet certain standards set by the insurer. Often, these shops offer lower repair costs and a long-term warranty on car parts.
On the other hand, you can get an estimate from your own mechanic and compare it with the estimate given by an insurer’s recommended shop. Then, work with the insurer and the mechanics to decide the best outcome.
The Insurer May Give You Money Directly for Car Repairs
The insurer may give you money directly if you own your own car and have the full title. If you have not paid off your car or if you are leasing a car, the auto insurer might make a check out to you and your lender to get your car fixed.
The insurer may issue the check this way because the financial institution — where you received your car loan — or the leasing company co-owns your car. In fact, the lender’s name usually remains on your car’s title until you pay off your loan. A leasing company usually holds the title to a leased car.
If You Own the Car
You have several options if you own your car. Still, your options might depend on your auto insurer’s practices. Your insurer might give you the money directly so that you can fix your car yourself. Keep in mind that if you further damage your car while making your own repairs, your insurer normally does not pay you any more money for repairs.
Your insurer might give you a list of preferred auto body shops where you can take your car and get it fixed or let you choose where you want to take it. If your car malfunctions after an auto repair shop repairs it, you can report it to your insurer and take your car back to the shop for further repair.
Using Your Own Insurance to Get Your Car Fixed
You can use your collision insurance coverage to pay for car repairs. Collision insurance pays for vehicle damage regardless of who caused an accident.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, your insurer might recommend auto repair shops where you can get repair estimates. You may have to pay a deductible before your collision insurance covers the rest of the expenses.
Depending on your auto insurer’s practices, your insurer may pay to have your car fixed, then get reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurer. You might also get reimbursed for paying your deductible.
Using your own collision coverage may not take as long as it would if you filed a property damage liability claim with an at-fault driver’s insurer.
How Long It Takes for an At-Fault Driver’s Insurer to Pay Your Claim
It may take a while for the insurer to pay out your property damage liability or personal injury claim because the insurer might first investigate your accident.
The insurer wants to confirm whether its policyholder actually caused the accident. The insurer may:
- Obtain a police report of the crash.
- Speak to eyewitnesses about the accident.
- Ask to review your medical records (if you claim you suffered injuries in the crash).
It may take some time before you know for certain whether the other driver’s insurer is going to pay for your car repair because it takes time for insurers to determine fault.
You may want to consult with a car accident lawyer about your situation, especially if you suffered injuries in the crash. A lawyer can help you collect evidence to support your claim and show how the other driver’s negligence caused the accident.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod, & Baril, PLLC for Legal Help
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC handle all aspects of personal injury and property damage claims resulting from car accidents. If you have a viable case, we can help you pursue compensation for your damages and work with an insurance company to help you get your car fixed after an accident.
For a free consultation, call us today at 865-546-1111.