One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients is regarding how they should handle damage to their vehicle when they have been involved in a car accident. Typically, the at-fault insurance company should accept responsibility for paying for repairs for your vehicle or for paying the fair-market value of your car if it was totaled. There are times, however, when the at-fault insurance company does not accept liability, leaving you to wonder how your vehicle will be repaired or replaced.
Collision coverage offers you a way to protect your vehicle when the at-fault insurance company has not accepted liability. While there are certain exclusions from coverage, collision insurance usually provides that when your vehicle is involved in an accident, your insurance company will pay the lesser of actual cash value of the damaged property or the amount necessary to repair or replace the property. The actual cash value of the vehicle is not the amount it would cost to replace it, but rather the car’s value after taking into consideration the depreciation and physical condition of the car at the time of the accident. Any payment made by your insurance company will be reduced by any deductible on the policy.
In the event that the damage to your vehicle was caused by the wrongful act of another person, your insurance company may be subrogated to the claim for relief against that at-fault party. Simply put, this means that your insurance company who paid for the property damage may be reimbursed by the at-fault insurance company to the extent of its payment to you for your vehicle. Likewise, you may also be reimbursed by the at-fault party for any deductible you paid.
Collision coverage is not mandatory, so it is important to know whether your policy includes it so you can determine whether you need to add this coverage. Without collision coverage, you may be forced to pay out of your own pocket for your car’s repairs unless someone else is found liable for the damages (and sometimes even then).
If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation. An experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer may be able to help you get compensation.