Here are 5 tips to get back on the road fast after a no-fault accident!
Twelve states and Puerto Rico all follow laws around no-fault insurance, making it challenging for some drivers to make the claims they need to. If you’re in one of these states and end up in a no-fault accident, getting your car back in gear is one of the most important concerns to deal with. If you need your car for work, school, or family, you’ll be itching to get it back.
Here are five tips to get your car back in gear following an accident.
- Get Your Car Into the Shop
To get started on the path to getting your car fixed, you need to take it into the shop ASAP. If your car isn’t safe to drive or if you have any apprehension at all, don’t try to drive away from the scene. For drivers sitting at home with their car in the driveway, not feeling good about that drive home, call a tow truck
Bring it to a body shop that you know and trust if you’re nearby your home or work when the accident happens. If you don’t know of a shop, you might have to do some research to get the repairs started.
Some body shops will pick up the car as part of their service treatments. Call ahead to see if that’s included. However, if you don’t want to lose money on this, check with your insurance company or coverage like AAA to ensure that you don’t pay for the towing for no reason.
Some insurance companies have relationships with repair shops meaning that they can recommend some shops compatible with your insurance. However, you don’t have to work with their favorite shops when you’re getting your car fixed.
While you still might need to figure out who is at fault for your accident, repairing your car is the top priority. When you rely on your car to get to work, drive around kids, or take care of loved ones, make repair a top priority.
- Considering Fault in No-Fault
If no-fault laws exist in your state, that means that each party involved with an accident needs to file their own claims. Regardless of whether you were at fault or not, you may have to use your collision coverage. When the other party’s insurance is insufficient, you need to make sure you still get your car on the road.
If you’re in a no-fault accident, you’re not permitted to make any claims around your pain and suffering using your own insurance. When your bills reach a certain level, you might be able to step outside the rules but not under most normal circumstances.
You’ll have to look at local laws to see when you can make a claim against an at-fault driver. If you’re having trouble being reimbursed for bills following injuries, contact local car accident lawyers.
No-fault insurance doesn’t cover your car after a crash. That’s when your collision insurance comes into play. Getting your car on the road means dealing with the insurance company that provides you with collision.
- Decide What To Fix
When it comes to getting your car back on the road, don’t feel pressured to fix anything that you don’t want to fix. You can leave any exterior issues as-is if you just want to ensure that the car functions as needed. So long as nothing is going to fall off of it, your car can look however you want it to look.
Many drivers eschew cosmetic repairs on older cars. You can take the money from your insurance claim in most cases and use it however you want. You could pick and choose which things are important for you to fix.
Make sure you consider any auto loans you have before getting repairs done. You might be required to get the car fixed when you have a loan out on the car still. The body damage hurts the value of your car however, putting you in a position where you owe more on your car than it’s actually worth.
If the car is old and the damage minimal, it might be faster to not get your car fixed at all. Just make sure you have plenty of photos from the damage done by the accident so you can make your claim later.
- Confirm Your Repairs
When you’ve brought your car in and have had the repairs listed, you have to agree before your mechanic will perform them. Make sure when you pick the car up, you go through and check all the repairs they listed.
It’s within your rights and just plain responsible to ask the mechanic to walk you through your repairs. They should give you an itemized bill that lists everything they did. If you have questions, feel free to ask them.
Check your bill as closely as you can to ensure that the estimates you were given match what’s on the bill. If there’s a serious difference, ask why that is. Make sure you also ask about repair guarantees so that you don’t feel ripped off later.
Taking it for a test drive is perfectly normal. Ask someone to ride along if you can.
Some insurance companies will pay the shop directly. Ask about this before agreeing to any payments.
- What About Bad Repairs?
If you’re not happy with the repairs, you can bring it up with the shop. Bring as many photos as you can of the repairs.
If the insurance rep fails you, then ask for a manager or supervisor to help. You might have to file a dispute or a complaint in the interim. This process isn’t the same in any two states, but can typically be done online.
No-Fault Accident Laws Make Car Repair Challenging
You need to make sure you have the insurance you need if you’re in a no-fault state. No-fault accident laws make getting back on the road hard if you don’t have collision and other forms of coverage.
If you spend a lot of time on the road, make sure you avoid these ten most common causes of accidents.