Car Accident ProtectionLet’s face it: an auto accident is a huge hassle. Along with your injuries, you will be forced to either repair or replace your vehicle, potentially be without your vehicle while it is being repaired, and be forced to deal with the insurance company to finance all of this. A car accident can inflict substantial suffering but so can navigating the claims process after a wreck. But all is not lost. There are a number of protections you, as the owner of the damaged vehicle, are entitled to in the car accident claims process. You may be able to recover damages from the person responsible for the accident or receive payments from your insurance company to cover the costs of repair or replacement.The Hadi Law Firm has helped clients from all over Texas use the protections the law allows them to get their life back on track. Let’s take a look at some of these protections for the owner of the vehicle in relation to dealing with vehicle repair, claim denial, insurance premiums and insurance companies.
Vehicle RepairIn Texas, if another person causes the auto accident, there are a couple of different ways for you to recover the property damage loss:
- You can recover the difference in the fair market value of the car before and after the accident.
- You can recover the reasonable cost of repairing the vehicle, if it is economically feasible to do so.
- You can choose to pay for the repairs through your own insurance company.
- You have the right to choose any shop for the repairs of that vehicle. The insurance company is not allowed to dictate to you where you take your vehicle to be repaired.
- You have the right to choose the type of parts to be used in the repair. However, the insurance company only has to pay a reasonable amount for the repairs and the vehicle parts.
Claim DenialThere are a number of pitfalls a claimant can encounter when dealing with auto insurance companies. In some cases, an insurance company can outright deny your claim—leaving you with high medical bills, lost income, and financial hardships. Here are the top five reasons an insurance company might affect your rights to fair compensation:
- Coverage Lapses
- Information Delays
- Liability Disputes
- Inadequate Settlements
- Pre-Existing Conditions
Insurance PremiumsCar accidents can have long-term repercussions on your life for years after the crash itself, whether they’re medical, emotional, psychological, or financial. An accident can result in financial repercussions whether or not it caused any injuries. For example, dealing with insurance companies and trying to navigate your car insurance premium after a car accident can be an uncertain situation. One of the questions we get all the time is, “What happens if the car accident wasn’t my fault? Will my premium still go up?”We’ve got the answers for you. Insurance companies have a category for “chargeable accidents,” which can lead to a considerable insurance rate increase. This category generally refers to an accident where you were more than 50% at fault, and that caused one of the following:
- Damage to property, like another car or someone’s fence
- Bodily injury or death
- Your car was legally parked when it was damaged.
- Your car was struck in a hit-and-run accident.
- The driver of another vehicle was convicted of a moving traffic violation associated with the accident, but you were not convicted of a moving traffic violation.
- The accident was caused by a collision with an animal or fowl.
- The damage was caused by falling objects or flying gravel.
Insurance CompaniesThere are several different insurance companies to choose from, and within each of those companies, several different plans. As a result, there isn’t an easy answer for what and how much an accident that was not your fault will have on your car insurance premium.On average, a not-at-fault accident makes insurance costs go up by about 12%, compared to 45% for an at-fault accident. But there are a few variables that might make those numbers change:
- The number of prior accidents and your driving history
- Policy details– for example, your car insurance policy might include accident forgiveness, which means your insurer won’t raise your rates after an accident
- The severity of the accident and the cost of the claim