How Long Do I Have to Repair My Car After an Accident? Information Everyone Must Know
Repairing a vehicle after a car accident could take a few days or several months, based on whether or not there was extensive damage. Many automobile owners ask themselves: "how long do I have to repair my car after an accident?"
Relying on the car insurance company might not be the best choice, and it also depends on where they're located. For example, Ohio is a fault state, so a victim can get their vehicle repaired by the at-fault driver. However, they may choose to fix the problem themselves and get the cash value of the settlement.
After an accident, the owner of the vehicle must deal with many situations. These include how long it takes to repair the vehicle, whether it can be fixed at all, and what pre-existing damage might not make it into the accident claim.
Quick Reports Indicate Quicker Car Repairs
Most people report accidents directly to their car insurance company. As a general rule, auto insurance covers the vehicle, regardless of whether the victim is still making payments on it or not. However, the individual's insurance company must analyze the damage done to the car, assigning a claims adjuster to determine the amount of compensation the victim is eligible for.
If the car was damaged mechanically, an adjuster might require a few days to complete his or her investigation because the vehicle might have to be disassembled to determine the full extent of the damage.
Car Accident Repair Estimate
A few days after the auto accident, the car insurance company sends out an insurance agent to offer a repair estimate. It's crucial to remember that this is just a guess of how much it might cost. The final amount could be lower or higher. Interestingly, Ohio is the state with the least expensive car repair costs as of 2021.
Some auto insurance companies try to low-ball the figure, so they pay out less. It also depends on the policy coverage and all the rest.
Tort Claim States and the Car Insurance Company
When someone is in a car accident in a tort state, the party responsible for the crash (and that person's car insurance company) is liable for any damages and injuries. However, the driver must contact their own insurance provider as soon as they can to receive an accident investigation while the evidence is fresh.
It's also helpful if a witness saw the accident. The victim's own insurance company might pay for the cost of repairs initially. Then, they go to the other driver's insurer for reimbursement. Sometimes, the company doesn't want to pay, which means the victim must file a claim as soon as possible. Generally, that means working with a lawyer who understands the law and how it applies to them.
Ohio is a tort state, so the negligent party is liable for paying restitution if they damaged the vehicle outright. Their insurance company may cover all of the cost, but that doesn't always happen. The responsible person is still liable, so making payments out of pocket might be the only other course of action available to them.
Authorized Auto Repair Shop to Get Car Repaired
Typically, the insurance carrier can provide the person with a list of approved or recommended repair companies. With that, professionals at the facility give the car owner a repair estimate to say how long it might take to finish the car repairs. They may need more time to get replacement parts, especially if it was an older vehicle or made outside the United States.
Repairing a car after an accident depends on various factors, and it's up to the professionals to determine if it can be fixed or if it should go to the salvage yard (total loss).
Difference Between Brand Name and Generic Car Parts
The car insurance company might demand that the car be repaired with recycled, original, or generic manufacturer (OEM) parts.
If the victim requests brand-name parts, the car insurance company is likely to demand that they pay the price difference between what they want and the parts authorized or recommended.
With that, it might take longer for the repair shop to get original parts. It's best to look at the insurance policy to see what parts are used to fix a vehicle. Sometimes, the insurance policy isn't clear; it's best to speak with a lawyer about the insurance claim.
They can analyze the insurance claims and explain the repair process to the victim thoroughly.
Exceptions to the Rule
Sometimes, it can take longer to get the car fixed, which is true for:
A limited-edition car
The body shop may need more time to get the parts to fix those types of vehicles. Plus, the repair estimate is likely to be higher for those cars.
Be Realistic about Repair Timing
Typically, a broken windshield can be replaced in a few days. If it was a minor accident that included slight bodywork and bumper damage, it might not take that long. However, if there is substantial damage, one might have to wait months before getting the car repaired.
It's often difficult to know how much work is required until everything is evaluated. The person might want to get estimates from different auto body shops in the area to submit to the insurance agent.
This industry often strikes a balance between turnaround times, quality, and price. If the repairs must be done quickly, they are lower quality or more expensive. Quality repairs to keep the car's worth take longer to finish.
One must give the repair shop enough time to do the work. However, if the body shop continues extending the time necessary or delaying the return of the car to the person, it might be wise to call an attorney to help.
One may have to get a rental car while having the car repaired after the accident. It's not ideal, but they must still go to work and run errands. Most insurers cover a rental car, but each person's insurance coverage terms are different.
Other Factors to Delay Getting Car Repaired
The mechanic is often the one delaying a timely car repair. If they leave on vacation, get sick, or can't perform the work as expected, the vehicle owner might have to wait longer or go to another shop. It's common for the mechanic to find more problems, which means more repairs.
If that's the case, repair expenses could exceed the worth of the car, and the insurer might deem it a total loss. Therefore, the owner and insurance provider might not agree on how much the car is worth. It's best to seek legal assistance if that's the case.
With that, the insurance company might not reimburse the mechanic immediately. He or she might not release the car outright until payment is received. Generally, the insurance claim money goes directly to the mechanic to avoid such delays, but that's not always the case.
Difference Between Totaled and Repairable Cars
Cars with considerable damage could have a decreased resale or trade-in value, even when they're restored. If the physical damages are more than the value of the car, it might be wise to go along with the car insurance company's decision of it being a total loss.
However, the owner may repair and keep the car, even if the provider says to write it off. Regardless, the amount of reimbursement is likely to be lower in this case. It's best to speak with car accident lawyers in Columbus to get assistance.
What Are Insurance Adjusters?
An insurance claims adjuster is a specialist who examines the insurance claim and calculates how much it might take to get the car fixed. They conduct thorough investigations that include speaking with witnesses, reviewing police reports, and inspecting damages directly.
How Long after the Accident May One File a Claim?
Each state has a different time period where one can file a claim. Generally, it is one year, but Ohio gives victims two years for property damages.
Are There Time Limitations to Get the Car Fixed after the Car Accident?
An insurance claim accident means that the victim wants to get their car fixed and have the other driver's insurance company foot the bill. However, these companies have different time limitations for reporting and using the policy coverage.
It's best to call the company as soon as possible to get the car repaired sooner so that the details are fresh. Once a person decides to file a claim with the adjuster, they can help them through the process. How long car repairs take depends on various factors.
Having a damaged car after an accident is never enjoyable, and hopefully, there were no injuries. However, car owners may have to get involved with the insurance companies to fight for what they are owed.
Since Ohio is an at-fault state, it's best to work with the attorneys at Keating Law Firm LTD in Columbus, Ohio. They can negotiate with insurance agents and auto body shops to get the vehicle fixed quickly. They also help determine other significant aspects such as how medical bills are paid after a car accident and handle complicated cases like a person getting into an accident while driving someone else's car.
After a car accident, one must focus on healing and getting back to normal activities. Some insurance companies low-ball the offer or refuse to pay when there is a valid claim.
Therefore, it's best to file a claim with a law firm like Keating Law Firm LTD.