We're talking with attorney Craig Swapp of Craig Swapp & Associates about the often confusing issue of getting your car repaired after an accident.
If your accident was caused by another driver, first of all, you've got to call and report the damage. Either to the at-fault driver's insurance or your own. They'll assign an insurance adjuster to your case, and that person will be your point of contact.
There are pros and cons of going through your insurance as opposed to the at-fault drivers, Swapp explains. The pro is, going through your own insurance is by far the fastest option. Your insurance is generally much faster to process the claim than the at-fault insurance. But the downside is that you may need to pay a deductible, at least until the other insurance accepts full fault for the accident, after which you will be reimbursed.
The next step is to get your vehicle repaired or get a fair offer for it if it's determined to be a total loss. If the repairs to the vehicle are likely to exceed the fair market value of the vehicle, they'll pay you that fair market value for your vehicle.
While all this is going on you'll probably need a rental car. Swap says, "The at-fault insurance will give you a rental car once they've accepted responsibility for the accident until your car is repaired or an offer for a total loss is made. The bad news is again that they legally have 30 days to accept fault so in the meantime you can rent through your insurance or out of your pocket. If you choose to rent out of pocket be sure to save your receipts so you can be reimbursed once the at-fault insurance has accepted fault."
If you have more questions, an attorney with experience in car accidents is going to be your best resource. Get in touch with Craig Swapp & Associates by calling 1-800-404-9000 or online at: craigswapp.com.