Car in Repair Shop After Accident: How Do I Get Around?
If you’ve been in a car accident, one of the first things you need to figure out is how to get your car fixed, and what to do in the meantime. Read on to learn about how to get your car repaired after an accident, how to get around while your case is pending, and how to ensure that you’re not left paying out of pocket for all of your expenses. Call an experienced Lancaster car accident lawyer at the Kistler Law Firm for help after a Southern California car crash.
Getting Your Car Fixed After a Crash
After a car crash, most people need to get their car fixed as soon as possible. If you have optional collision coverage, your auto insurance will cover the repairs. They’ll send a claims adjuster out to evaluate the damage, recommend you to a repair shop (though you have the right to pick your own, as long as the cost is comparable), and pay for the repairs. If your car is totaled, they’ll give you a lump sum payout based on the estimated pre-crash value of the car.
If another driver was at fault, then their auto insurance provider is responsible for paying for your repairs. Ideally, they will admit fault and go through the same steps. They’d simply pay for the repairs upfront.
If they deny liability, however, or otherwise contest your claim, you’ll need to find another way to get your car fixed. If you have collision coverage, your insurance provider will pay for your repairs regardless of who was at fault. Your auto insurance provider will then try to get their money back from the at-fault driver’s insurance, but that’s not your problem.
If you do not have optional collision insurance, then you’ll have a rougher time getting your car fixed quickly. If another driver was at fault, it will still be their (and their insurance provider’s) responsibility to pay for your repairs. If they contest the claim, however, you have a few options:
- Pay for repairs now, out of pocket, and seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver. You’ll get paid when the claim is resolved.
- Negotiate a settlement that just covers your property damage now, but separates out other damages–personal injury liability–to be resolved later. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may be inclined to accept a settlement where they just pay you a few thousand for repairs now, but they get to keep fighting the more expensive injury claim.
- Wait until the case is fully settled or resolved to repair your car. If you have another option for getting around–a spouse’s car, for example, or adequate public transit–this may be a good option.
Talk to your car accident lawyer about your options to ensure you are not stuck without a means of transportation while your case proceeds.
Getting a Rental Car
If your car will be in the shop for a while, or if you’re delaying the repairs until after the case settles and you know who’s paying, you might need another way to get around. Depending on your circumstances, you may want or need to rent a car.
The rental car analysis is similar to the repairs analysis. When you purchased your auto insurance, you had the option of paying for rental car coverage. If you have rental car coverage, your rental will be partially or completely covered by your policy.
If another driver was at fault for your accident, then their insurance should cover your rental. If they admit fault, they’ll pay for the rental upfront. If not, you can rely on your own insurance, and they’ll seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurer.
If you try to get a property damage settlement while fighting your car accident claim, as discussed above, you can likely ask for them to pay for your car rental as well.
Alternatively, you can pay for a rental car yourself and seek reimbursement as part of your car accident claim. Whether you get paid back depends on whether you win or settle your case. Keep it frugal, regardless–the policy will likely cover a car similar to yours, rather than an upgrade to a fancy luxury vehicle. If you splurge on a Maserati, you could wind up footing more of the bill than you’d like.
Your auto accident lawyer can walk you through your options and help make sure you can get around while your car is in the shop after an accident.
Other Ways to Get Around
If you need a car and paying for a rental is out of the question, you’ll need to look for alternatives. If you have a friend or family member who can lend you their car–such as an elderly parent who rarely drives–you can ask them. You might be able to depend on public transit, depending on your location and your work situation. You may even decide to pick up a bicycle. Riding outside in southern California is quite pleasant for most of the year. Talk to your auto liability attorney to discuss your options.
Working with a dedicated car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. At the Kistler Law Firm, our Lancaster car accident attorneys will work with you to assess your case, help you collect evidence, and pursue appropriate legal action on your behalf. Reach out to our team today to schedule a free consultation about your case.