Paying for Car Repairs after an Auto Accident

When a vehicle is damaged in an auto accident, depending on the state where the incident took place, who was at fault, and the extent of property damage, an insurance policy may cover part or the full cost of a car repair. Indemnity policies strictly define auto liability. Terms and conditions to an auto insurance policy usually outline the following stipulations to contract:

Jurisdictional Issues
The designation of liability in some states may vary according to statutory incorporation of the negligence rule. According to U.S. federal tort law, legal elements to the negligence rule are the basis to court decisions about liability. In no-fault states, it must be proven that a driver was negligent to sustain liability, and obtain compensatory remedy from an insurer for damages incurred in an accident.

If a court concedes that the negligence rule applies, it is likely what is called the negligence calculus has been applied. Requisite to the negligence rule is forewarning. In cases where it has been determined that a driver did not fulfill obligation to forewarning of danger, where that driver had knowledge, liability rests with a single party.

Policy Limits

The responsible insurer in an auto accident cast will generally only pay for vehicle damage up to an insured’s policy limit. If you are a plaintiff in an auto accident proceeding, limits on policy coverage may affect your ability to pay for the entire cost of vehicle repair. If repair costs exceed the value of an auto that has been involved in an accident, the claim amount should still reflect the actual cash value of the vehicle at the time of the accident for record.


Using your own collision coverage offers the extra assurance that reimbursement of total cost of repair for damage caused by another driver without adequate insurance is met. Comprehensive auto coverage policies can also be applied to repair of vehicle damages, if the car was parked at the time of the accident. If you are the culpable party to the accident, and it is estimated that repair of damages to a vehicle will increase the premium on an insurance policy, a claim is not recommended.

Insurance Covered Repairs

Processing the paperwork with an insurer is the first step to paying for repair costs after an auto accident. Regardless of which insurance company is responsible for covering the cost of repair, a claim must be filed to document reporting of the accident.

In order for an insurer to pay out on a policy for repairs, an auto inspection must be on record. If the vehicle is still in working order, insurers will usually request that the owner bring the car into a designated inspection location. Inspectors only come on site if an auto has sustained extensive damage.

Once an estimate of the damages is assessed, a claimant can proceed with repairs. Some insurers restrict repair resources to a limited network of licensed service providers. Disagree about repair costs? An experienced auto accident attorney can protect you from further financial loss.


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