4 Financial Steps To Take After You’ve Been In A Car Accident

by Sean Finucane on October 21, 2019 · 0 comments

Car accidents happen, even if you’re incredibly careful on the road. In fact, approximately 6 million car accidents take place on U.S. roads every year.

You might know what to do after a car accident when it comes to filing a police report and getting the other driver’s insurance information. But what happens if the damage done to your vehicle is serious and you need to budget for the repairs?

Here are the financial steps you need to take after you’ve been in a car accident so you know what to do the next time another drive side-swipes your car.

  1. Figure out what your insurance covers. Your insurance claims process depends on who was at fault for the car accident and the type of coverage that’s held by the other driver. If you were at fault for the accident, your property damage liability coverage will pay for the repairs of the other driver’s vehicle up to the policy’s limit. Additionally, collision coverage will pay for repairs up to your vehicle’s actual cash value, minus a deductible.
  2. Decide whether to file a personal injury claim. When the car accident isn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance will pay for your car’s repairs. However, when the insurance doesn’t cover enough of the repairs or the cost of your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to get more coverage. Various sources report that up to 96% of personal injury claims are settled through negotiation. An additional 4% are resolved through court.
  3. Decide whether or not to get a rental car. If your insurance offers rental car reimbursement coverage, it could be useful to invest in it so you have temporary transportation after you’ve been in an accident. However, it’s important to be aware that you’ll most likely need collision and comprehensive coverage to add rental car reimbursement to your insurance. This is also true if you want to invest in emergency roadside service.
  4. Determine if you need a new vehicle. If you’ve been in an accident that requires you to make a few repairs, it may be worth using your insurance’s rental car reimbursement coverage until it’s fixed. But if your vehicle has been completely totaled, it’s in your best interest to file a total loss claim and to mail your paperwork as soon as possible.

Car accidents are stressful even when there hasn’t been an injury involved. But by following the steps above, you can breathe a little easier knowing you can get your finances in order to repair your vehicle without breaking the bank.

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