From Collision to Recovery:
Understanding What Happens to Your Car Post-Accident
After a car accident, the health and well-being of yourself and any loved ones involved will naturally be your first priority. But what happens next?
Even if you make it out unscathed, your vehicle may not be so fortunate. And whether you need it for work, bringing the kids to school, or simply for running errands, most of us can’t get along for very long without a functional car.
If you’re going through the frightening, frustrating period that follows a car accident, here’s what you should know – and how we can help.
Am I entitled to a car replacement after a car wreck?
In most cases, yes: your insurance company will be responsible for fixing or replacing your car after an accident.
Your policy will determine the exact coverage you’re eligible for. For this reason, it’s important to notify your insurance company immediately after an accident – and then contact a lawyer who can work on your behalf to ensure you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
Remember that insurance companies are not your friend. Their primary concerns are limiting their liability and keeping payouts as low as possible. An experienced accident attorney will fight for your rights.
While your car is being repaired, you are usually entitled to a rental car. Most insurance policies allow for approximately 30 days of rentals, or until your car is back on the road. For more information, visit our page on getting a rental car after an accident.
What type of compensation are you eligible for after a car accident?
You may be able to claim a number of expenses after your accident as reimbursement for your damaged property.
Thanks to Florida’s no-fault car insurance laws, all drivers must carry proof of liability coverage up to $10,000. This means you’re automatically entitled to any costs to repair your car up to this amount. You also have the right to choose the body shop where repairs are completed and have the work done with functionally similar parts.
Your vehicle’s condition, its value, and the circumstances of the accident may also make you eligible for other compensation. Owners of high-end or luxury cars that are damaged can often make claims for lost value, and anyone can claim for damaged or lost items that were in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
As always, it’s essential to speak with an experienced automobile accident lawyer. This trusted advisor will help you understand what claims you’re eligible for and ensure you receive full compensation under those claims.
Can I get coverage for parts?
You will always be eligible to receive compensation for any parts required for repairs. However, the law only grants the right to functionally similar parts. Depending on your insurance policy, you may or may not receive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts.
While many car owners prefer the perfect match of OEM parts, they’re often more expensive. If repairs are significant, you can expect your insurance company to only provide non-OEM parts. You’ll have to pay an additional amount if you want to purchase directly from the manufacturer.
What if my car is damaged beyond repair?
Known as a “total loss”, a “write off”, or a “totaled vehicle”, this scenario occurs when it’s cheaper for the insurance company to replace your car outright rather than fix it.
To determine whether your vehicle is a loss after an accident, your insurance company will assess the damage and the estimated costs to make repairs. Then, they’ll compare that cost to the estimated market value of your vehicle.
If repairs will cost more than 80% of the fair market value (determined by the car’s condition, mileage, and other factors), the insurance carrier will pay this amount. You can use this payout towards the purchase of a new vehicle.
After receiving your compensation, you may be able to keep the car or sell it back to the insurance company for the value of any parts.
Call Snedaker Law after your accident
After contacting emergency services and your insurance company, a trusted lawyer should be the very first call you make after a car accident.
Whether you want to seek compensation for lost value, need help obtaining a rental car, or are simply looking for advice on the best way to proceed (and what compensation to expect), our experts are here for you.
We’ve helped hundreds of victims recover from car accidents and their vehicles back on the road. Contact us today and let’s get started on your case: