After you’ve been involved in a a car accident, there are a lot of unanswered questions—especially if your vehicle has been severely damaged. The main question is, who is going to pay for the repairs?
There are a number of factors involved in auto repairs. These include where you live, where the accident took place, who was responsible for the accident happening in the first place, whether the insurance of the party at fault covers the damage, and the kind of insurance and coverage you have.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in western North Carolina, an auto accident attorney in Winston-Salem will be able to help you navigate the murky waters of your legal claim.
North Carolina is an At-Fault State
What does it mean to be an at-fault vs. no-fault state? In no-fault states, your own insurance is likely responsible for covering the damage your car incurred from an accident. However, in at-fault states like North Carolina, you must prove that the other driver involved in your accident was negligent in order to pursue their insurance company for damages.
No matter where your car accident took place—in a fault or no-fault state—the insurance company responsible for covering the damages is only required to pay for the repairs up to the limits of the policy. This could mean that only a portion of your car repairs will be covered by the other driver’s insurer, especially if the damages to your car are significant and will require a high cost to repair.
Repair Costs that Exceed a Car’s Value
Additionally, the insurance company is only required to pay for repair costs up to your car’s value. This is not the amount that the car was worth at the time of purchase, but rather your specific vehicle’s value at the time of the accident. If the repair costs exceed how much your car is determined to be worth, the insurance company will likely pay you the “Blue Book” or fair market value after determining your vehicle a total loss and taking it.
Your Own Collision Coverage
You may have collision coverage as part of your insurance plan, which would ensure that you will be reimbursed for the damage done to your vehicle if the driver at fault doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the repairs. It also helps if you were at fault in the accident. You wouldn’t need to make a claim against your own collision coverage if the other driver was found at fault and also had enough in their policy to cover it.
How Do I Get the Insurer to Pay for Repairs?
No matter which insurance company is found responsible for paying for your car repairs, you must first report the accident in order to make a claim. Next, your car will be inspected, either on site or by an inspector sent by the insurance company if your car is unable to be driven. After the inspection, the company will come up with an estimate for the damages. Then, the insurance adjuster will work out the cost with whichever mechanic you’ve chosen.
It’s important to note that insurance companies will often try to undervalue your vehicle or the damage it sustained during the collision. This is why working with an auto accident attorney in Winston-Salem is beneficial. A skilled lawyer can handle all the complexities of your case and intervene on your behalf when it comes to negotiations with insurance companies.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney in Winston-Salem Today
If you find that you and the insurer have a dispute over the repair costs to your car, an experienced Winston-Salem car accident attorney will be able to help. Contact Lewis & Keller for a free case review today.