Are you stuck trying to figure out what to do with your damaged car after being involved in an accident? Have you tried exploring different options, but you don’t know where to start?
Automobile accidents are undeniably among the leading causes of property damage in the U.S. With over 280 million active vehicles and over 227.5 million licensed drivers, the U.S. records one of the busiest road traffic globally. On average, the U.S. records 6 million car accidents yearly, which translates to 16,438 accidents per day.
When your car is damaged, various factors determine whether or not you’ll get to drive again. Here’s a guide on what to do after a car accident:
Get Your Insurer to Pay for the Repair Costs
Your insurer will only pay for the car accident damage to an amount that equals your car’s value. If the repair costs more than the vehicle’s value, the insurer will pay you an actual cash value and possess the automobile. Here, the actual cash value alludes to your car’s value at the time of the crash.
Report the auto crash as soon as it happens to increase the likelihood of getting the car repaired. Your claim should state the nature and specifics of the accident. Accompany it with supporting evidence such as photographs and a police report.
The insurer will then have the vehicle inspected. If you can still drive the car, you will be requested to deliver it to the insurance company’s drive-through inspection station. Your insurer will send an inspector to where the vehicle is if it is not drivable.
Use Your Collision or Comprehensive Coverage
Though it’s not a legal requirement, your lender will ask you to get a collision or comprehensive coverage if you purchase a car through a loan. Your insurance policy’s collision coverage would reimburse you if the other driver lacked adequate insurance. You can also make a claim against this coverage if it’s your fault that your car is damaged.
On the other hand, comprehensive coverage may benefit you if your car was stationary (parked) when the accident occurred. The accident may be brought about by a third-party driver hitting your parked car or a tree or pole falling on it. Your comprehensive coverage may also compensate you if your vehicle is damaged from fire, natural disasters, vandalism, or theft, depending on the insurer.
Make an Insurance Claim Against the Other Motorist’s Coverage
You can make a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance if they are responsible for the accident. Through this process (known as a third-party claim), the other person’s insurer will take note of the claim and investigate the crash.
Suing the other driver might help speed the compensation process. With expert legal help, you can gather witness statements, photos from the accident scene, and a police report to prove your case.
The lawsuit may compel the other person’s insurer to bring in their lawyer and relevant witness to challenge the case in court. Depending on the severity of your claim and the defenses provided, the court settlement may be in your favor.
Get a New Car or Cash Reimbursement from Your Insurer
Your insurer may give you a new replacement car that has a similar value to the damaged one. You might enjoy this benefit if you signed up for a new car replacement insurance.
The insurance company may also write you a check that represents the actual value of your damaged car. Their records should indicate that your premium payments are up-to-date for you to qualify for the reimbursement. Once the insurer gives you a replacement car or a check, they will take the totaled vehicle and sell it to a junkyard.
Pay for the Damage
If your insurer can’t pay for the repair costs due to late or missed premium payments, you’ll have to pay from your pocket. Visit an auto body shop that is certified by your car’s manufacturer for a price quote.
You can also sell some of the vehicle’s components if the car accident damage repair costs seem costly. Simply ask a professional mechanic to have the automobile disassembled. Remove the essential parts and advertise them online or take them to an auto shop to find a willing buyer.
Take it to a Junkyard
Junk your car after an accident if you have a copy of its title, or if you prove ownership and the vehicle is 10 years or older and you have a valid state-issued ID. You can get a replacement through your state’s BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) or DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). If the car bears a lien, the only place to sell it would be a state-licensed dealership, unless you can settle the lien with your lienholder, in which case you would be free to sell the vehicle as you wish.
Reach out to several junkyards and compare their offers. Pay close attention to other sellers’ reviews on Facebook and Google. Wait until you have multiple offers at hand before having the car picked up by a suitable junkyard.
At All Car Buys, for example, we will tow your vehicle for free, but we do not allow drop offs. You will then receive cash once you hand over the vehicle’s ownership to the junkyard. Depending on your residence area, you must report the car sale to the DMV or BMV.
Get Cash if Your Car is Damaged
Now you know the steps to take when your car is damaged. Count on us for the best prices on your old or damaged truck, car, or van.
Our ultimate goal is to buy your car at the best price and tow it away at your convenience. Find out how much your totaled automobile is worth by submitting an online form today.