From dealing with the trauma and injuries to the time-consuming process of repairing your car or finding a new one, the days that follow being in a motor accident are seldom easy. You might already have a number of issues to sort out, but in the event of an accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s important to ensure that you’re compensated accordingly.
It should come as no surprise that insurance companies will try their best to pay car accident victims as little as possible. After all, they’re for-profit companies and they’ll use whatever tactics they can to keep their money. But getting what you’re owed doesn’t have to be a headache, provided you follow the necessary steps to obtain your payout.
Since motorists who cause the accident are often reluctant to report it to their insurer, it’s vital that you gather the necessary information at the scene or as soon as possible after the accident. This includes the name and address of the driver, their insurance company name, and information about their policy.
Be sure to also collect pictures of the accident and statements from any witnesses. If you have a dashcam, safekeeping of the footage will go a long way in helping your case. Once you have this information, it’s time to notify the other person’s insurer.
Make the Right Calls
For ticketing purposes, your local police will make an assessment to determine who was at fault. The other driver’s insurer will do the same, taking into account the police report, witness statements, policyholder information, and physical evidence. Even if you know you aren’t responsible for the accident, you should also contact your own insurer.
This is mainly to establish good faith and it might help you if the responsible policyholder’s insurer denies the payout. Be sure to get the other person’s insurance company to authorize any repairs to your vehicle before you take it in. Remember that insurers are allowed to recommend a body shop to take your vehicle to, but this is still your decision.
If things don’t go according to plan, a lawyer will be your next best course of action. This Miami auto accident lawyer will use their expertise to help you receive full compensation for the damages caused to you and your vehicle. Again, it’s important that you have all the important information about the accident to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Repair or Replace?
As for whether it’s better to repair your car or replace it, this largely depends on how badly it was damaged. If the accident was closer to being minor, then you can often get it repaired for less than the insurance payout.
If the damages are higher than the worth of your car, this is known as a total loss. In this case, buying a new car would be a better way forward as vehicles tend to depreciate significantly after being in an accident.
Given the murky legalities around insurance companies, it would be wise to consider an attorney. That said, brushing up on your own knowledge of the law is also helpful in these types of incidents.