What to Do With My Car After an Accident?

Getting into a car accident causes a multitude of problems for everyone involved.  Not only can accidents cause you physical and emotional stress, but it can also hurt your finances. One of the biggest financial questions after a car accident is how will I fix my car and who will pay for it? In this article, we will break down the different options you have for fixing your car after an auto accident and which might be the right one for you.

To Fix or Not To Fix?

Choosing whether or not to fix your car after a car accident is a decision that is different for every driver. If your car is detrimentally damaged and cannot be driven, you may want to get your car fixed as soon as possible. Another reason you may want to fix your car is if you have a lienholder or are still in the process of paying off your vehicle. Not getting repairs will lower the value of your car when you have to give back a lease or put your car up for sale. Any damage to the body of your car will cause the value to decrease and possibly make it so that you end up owing more on the car than it is worth.

There are some instances when not fixing your car is also a viable option. For example, if you own your car outright and have no plans of selling it, you don’t really have to worry about the car’s value. If this applies to you, you may consider not fixing any minor damage that does not impede your ability to drive your car. If you have an older car, you may not want to file a claim or bother with any repairs that are cosmetic. You should always check to see if the repair costs are above or below your deductible because if it’s below, you may not want to come out of pocket to fix the damage.

Should I Use My Own Insurance or The Other Party’s Insurance?

An important decision you have to make after deciding whether or not you want to fix your car is who will pay for it. When you get into a car accident you have the options of paying for the damage through your own insurance or you can go through the at fault driver’s insurance. If you did not cause the car accident, a viable way of paying the damage is by going through the other party’s insurance. This means you won’t have to come out of your own pocket and pay the deductible with your own insurance company.

One of the cons of going through the at fault driver’s insurance is that it takes a lot longer than going through your own insurance (see blog on this topic). When you choose to fix your car through your own insurance company, you don’t have to wait for a determination of who’s at fault. However, when you go through another driver’s insurance, it must be determined that you are not at fault for the accident in order for the insurance company to pay for your damages. This requires an investigation of the accident that can take weeks.

If you do choose to go through your own insurance and it is later determined that you are not at fault for the accident, you will be reimbursed the amount of your deductible. This will happen because the at fault driver’s insurance will pay your insurance company the expenses of the damages. It should also be noted that if it is determined that you are not at fault, that your insurance premium should not go up.

Let’s Recap

If you are in a car accident, two important decisions to make are whether or not to fix the damage to your vehicle and which insurance company to go through to pay your expenses. Both options have positives and negatives depending on the value of your car and who is at fault in the car accident.

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