Paying for Car Repairs
If you are involved in an accident, you can claim damages for your vehicle. The party that actually pays for the damage will depend on who is at fault for the accident, and the type of insurance coverage carried by both drivers.
Who Is at Fault?
If the other driver has caused the accident, then he or she will be liable for paying cost of damages to your car. However, in most cases, the liability is passed on to the insurance company of the driver, who will actually be paying the damages. In almost every state, carrying a certain minimum property damage insurance is mandatory. In Arkansas, it is required that all drivers carry at-fault liability coverage, at a minimum. If the other driver’s insurance company agrees that the accident was caused by the driver, then they will pay for your car repairs; otherwise, the case may go to trial.
Depending on your coverage and policy, your insurance may cover the costs of repairing your vehicle. In many cases your insurance will repair your vehicle and seek restitution from the at-fault insurance coverage.
If you have caused the accident and are found to be at-fault, then you have no way of recovering the damages to your car from the other driver’s insurance. Your only option will be recovering the costs to repair your vehicle from your insurance if you have signed up for collision coverage. This being no-fault coverage, your insurance company will have to pay for the damages to your vehicle, minus the deductible.
When the at-fault driver does not have insurance but you have collision coverage, then your insurance company will pay for repairing your car. Collision coverage is no-fault coverage, which means it does not matter who was at fault for the accident. However, there is a certain portion of it called the “deductible”, which you have to pay.
You can only acquire this deductible back if the other driver has insurance and was found to be at-fault; or you win the case against the driver, and he has the required assets or funds to cover the cost.
When you and the other driver, both have insurance, then it is better to claim from the insurance company of the other driver, as you will not have to pay the deductible from your own collision insurance. Additionally, the insurance company of the other driver will often pay for a rental car, until your car is repaired.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The other side may pay for your car repairs but when it comes to lost wages, loss of vehicle, pain and suffering, or medical bills, it can be an entirely new ballgame. This is where you may need to consult an attorney. It is critical that you find someone knowledgeable and experienced whom you can trust.
You can learn more about the process of hiring a personal injury lawyer in our Hiring a Lawyer blog series. We answer important questions about whether or not you should hire a lawyer, and what happens once you do hire a lawyer.
At Taylor King Law, we have been supporting Arkansans for more than 20 years. We are dedicated to being on your side, by your side every step of the way. If you have questions about property damage or about dealing with insurance, contact us today at 1 (800) CAR WRECK or stop by an office for a free consultation. With 5 locations across Arkansas we’re easily accessible if you would like to speak with an attorney face to face. Visit us at any of our offices in Arkadelphia, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Fort Smith, or Springdale.