Occasionally, we all roll the dice and come up with snake eyes. Sometimes you just can't avoid a problem, and events like car accidents are one of life's surprises. If you suffer property damage as the result of a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to recover the costs of the damage.
If you've never been in an accident before, you may be wondering about the details. Is there anything I should do right after the accident? What about insurance? Am I covered? Each accident will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and there are no hard and fast guidelines, but some tips gathered by people familiar with this process can possibly be of help so that, after an accident, you will get compensation for damages.
Right after the accident
Immediately following the accident, after ensuring everyone's safety, it is time to collect information. You should exchange names, contact information and insurance info with any involved drivers. Some experts say that you should not admit fault at the scene. Call the police, and their investigation will help determine fault. Another helpful suggestion is that you take photos of the scene and any relevant details. Photos and other documentation may come in handy if you need to prove negligence on another party's behalf. Collect relevant information first, so you can recover your losses later.
Whose insurance will pay?
It will depend on who is at fault. If the accident is clearly the fault of another person, you can file the claim with the other person's insurance company. You may also file the claim with your own insurance. If your insurance pays out, and then the court finds the other person to be at fault, you may be able to reclaim your deductible through a process called subrogation.
Types of auto insurance
For property damage claims, you may find that you need collision coverage and/or comprehensive coverage. If the damage to the car is greater than a certain percentage of its value, the car may be a total loss. If the amount that the insurance company wants to pay you for the car is less than what you owe, gap insurance can help you pay for any remaining loan amount.
For most claims, individuals can work with insurance companies to resolve property damage claims. In some complex cases, or in cases of personal injury, some individuals choose to use the services of an attorney.