If your vehicle has been damaged in an accident, it can be hard to know where to turn. How can you get the repairs fixed without having to pay for them yourself if you weren’t at fault in the accident? A Nashville car accident attorney will be able to help if you find yourself in a dispute with an insurance company. Before proceeding with a legal case, though, be sure you’ve taken every possible step to get your repairs paid for without having to resort to going to court. Here is the best course of action to take if your car has been damaged in an accident.
A Traditional Fault State
Tennessee is a traditional “fault state” when it comes to car accidents. This means that whoever is found negligent or at fault at the time of an accident is responsible for paying for the damages incurred to the other person’s car (or at least, their insurance company is responsible). You must be able to demonstrate that the other driver was in fact at fault in order to collect damages from their insurance company.
No matter how much damage was done to your car, the insurer is only required to pay up to the policy limits of the liable individual. This means you may have repair costs that far exceed what the other person’s insurance will cover. In these types of cases, having collision coverage can come in handy.
Collision coverage is a part of your own insurance policy that would cover repair costs to your car no matter who was at fault (or if anyone was at fault) at the time of an accident. However, collision coverage can be very expensive, so many people opt not to have it.
Damage Repair Costs Exceed the Car’s Value
The insurance company will give your car a thorough inspection before giving you an estimate for the repair costs, either on their premises or by sending an adjustor to you. If the insurance company declares that the repair costs exceed the market value of your car at the time of the accident (usually determined by consulting Kelley Blue Book values), they are able to pay you the fair market value and assume ownership of your totaled vehicle.
You can try to negotiate keeping your car, but it is unlikely you will succeed, as insurance companies are allowed to resell assumed cars in secondhand markets to try and earn back some of the losses.
Hiring a Nashville Car Accident Attorney
If you disagree with the insurer over the amount they have estimated your repairs to cost, it can be hard to negotiate without a Nashville car accident attorney on your side. An experienced legal team will be able to help you get the damages you deserve.
You’ve already been through enough trauma with your accident—getting repairs you didn’t cause need for paid for shouldn’t be such a headache. If your car has been damaged in an accident in Tennessee, contact Mitch Grissim & Associates for a free case review today.