After a serious car accident that smashed up your vehicle, you will need to get it fixed or replaced. Auto repairs can be very expensive, which is what collision insurance is for. But if this has never happened to you before, the process of getting your vehicle repaired (and getting those repairs paid for) after a wreck can be confusing.
First, you need to know who will pay for repairs. Florida is a comparative negligence state. When there is a car accident, and one of the drivers is mostly at fault, the other motorist is entitled to full compensation for damages, minus their share of fault. For example, say there is a crash. An investigation determines that Driver A was 85 percent to blame and Driver B was 15 percent at fault. If Driver B’s vehicle needs $5,000 worth of damage, they can get as much as $4,250, or $5,000 minus 15 percent, which is $750.
Are they insured?
Ideally, the person who caused your wreck has car insurance. After exchanging information, you can contact their insurance company and make a claim. You also will probably be able to choose which repair shop to go to. But if the other driver is uninsured or flees the scene before you can get their info, you will have to file the claim with your own insurer. Then your adjuster might require you to go to a specific mechanic or at least choose from a list of approved shops. Either way, you may have to pay the repair costs up front and then get reimbursed by your insurance.
Even if you are a good driver, having solid car insurance is important. You never know when a negligent, uninsured person will hit you and leave you with a badly damaged vehicle. Being sufficiently insured means you can expect not to cover the cost of your repairs.