Should I admit fault for the accident?
No, never admit fault for an auto accident. While you may believe you are at fault for the accident, you may not be aware of all the facts and circumstances that were at play.
Fault will be determined upon further investigation.
Should I continue driving my car?
Even if the damages seem minor (for example, you can spot only a few dings and scrapes on the bumper), you should have your vehicle inspected by an auto repair mechanic BEFORE you resume using your car as you normally would.
Note that some insurance companies work exclusively with certain mechanic shops, so call your insurance provider first and ask about which shops you can visit.
How should I have my car inspected and/or appraised?
Generally, an insurance company will send out an inspector to review the vehicle damage and direct you to a mechanic who will appraise the cost of vehicle repairs.
Because every policy differs (including who handles inspections and appraisals), you should contact your car insurance provider.
What if my car is totaled?
Usually, an insurance company will deem a vehicle a total loss (or “totaled”) if the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds a certain percentage of the vehicle’s worth.
At this point, your insurance company should pay you a check based on the market value of your vehicle before the accident.
Once you’ve received your payment, you can discuss options with your insurance company, a trusted mechanic, or even your state’s motor vehicle department on what to do with the physical vehicle.
Who is responsible for car repair costs?
Generally, the insurance company of the party at fault is responsible for paying car repair costs; however, some factors could muddy those waters.
For example, if fault isn’t yet determined, you might file a claim with your own insurance company and, after determining the other party was at fault, your insurance company might file for reimbursement.
Can I get a rental car?
Some insurance policies automatically include coverage for rental car costs; others require extra rental reimbursement coverage tacked onto the policy.
Call your car insurance provider to find out; if it won’t cover rental car costs, talk with your car accident attorney about any reimbursements you’ll receive as part of your settlement (as long as you weren’t the at-fault party).
What if my car damages keep me from work?
As mentioned above (see “What If My Injuries Keep Me From Working?”) auto accident attorneys pay attention to lost wages when filing a suit against insurance companies.
Thus, be sure to speak with your attorney about all the documentation you’ll need to prove your lost wages.