Who Pays for Car Repairs After a Georgia Car Accident?
Most people who manage to avoid sustaining a serious injury in a car accident rightfully count themselves lucky. Unfortunately, even those who end up avoiding a physical injury will still likely have some degree of vehicle damage that they need to address. This process can end up being more complicated than most people expect, especially if an insurer refuses to pay out a claim.
Notifying the Insurers
The first thing you need to do after being involved in an accident in which your vehicle sustained physical damage is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer, as Georgia is a fault-based state, which means that negligent drivers are required to compensate accident victims for any property damage they cause. The amount and types of coverage that an insurer provides, however, will vary on a case by case basis.
Getting an Estimate from an Auto Repair Shop
Once the insurers have been notified, you can move forward with your repair claim by taking the vehicle to a mechanic, who will carefully inspect the vehicle before giving you an estimate of the cost of the repairs, including parts and labor. Be sure to keep copies of the invoice given to you by the mechanic, as the insurer will likely ask for a careful breakdown of each expense. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the vehicle damage before repairs are actually undertaken. You can even ask the repair shop to keep any damaged parts in the event that your case goes to trial. Also, make sure that you receive approval for the repairs from the insurer before actually having the work done. If you fail to take this step, you could end up on the hook for your repair costs. And remember, under Georgia law, insurers are not permitted to force a claimant to use a particular auto repair shop.
Once an insurer receives a repair invoice, it will either approve or deny the claim. Generally, insurers are only required to pay up to the maximum limits of a policy, so if, for instance, the liable party only carried $15,000 in property damage liability coverage, then that is the full amount that a victim could expect to recover. This can be frustrating when the damages exceed a policyholder’s limits. In these cases, an accident victim may need to seek the remainder of the losses directly from the at-fault party by filing a personal injury claim in court. If the at-fault driver was uninsured, then you may need to seek compensation from your own insurance providers.
Seeking Coverage of Your Vehicle Repair Costs
If you were involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, you may be finding yourself in a tough spot when it comes to covering the cost of repairs. For help seeking coverage of your repair costs, don’t hesitate to call the dedicated Marietta car accident lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell today. We can be reached at 404-593-0020 or via online message.