It's a frustrating situation to be in when you aren't at fault for a car accident, but you are left with a lot of vehicle or other property damage. You have a few options in this situation to try and mitigate your losses. Here's what you need to know about your rights.
You Can Get a Rental Car
If you have property damage and your vehicle is not able to be driven, you have the right to get a rental car while the insurance adjuster goes through the process of accepting fault for your auto accident. The insurance company will eventually pay you back for your rental car, as long as the charges are reasonable. That means that if you normally drive an economy car, you can't rent an expensive BMV or hummer and charge it to the insurance company.
You will also be able to claim for parking fees if your vehicle is not secure. Many auto accidents involve broken windows. If you tend to use street parking, you may not feel comfortable parking your vehicle on the street for someone to prowl around in while the insurance company completes paperwork on their end. So consider storing your vehicle in a secure parking garage and saving your receipts for reimbursement by the insurance company.
You Can Get Multiple Damage Quotes
The other driver's insurance company will send an adjuster to look at the damage on your vehicle. But it's often in your best interest to also get quotes from auto body shops or auto repair centers. They may uncover additional damages, such as issues with the suspension, that can't be seen during a quick inspection by the insurance adjuster. Solicit multiple quotes so that you can get the best deal, and so that you protect yourself by having a more thorough evaluation of the damage done to your vehicle.
You Can Hire a Lawyer
Finally, know that it is well within your rights to have an attorney represent you for this insurance claim. The insurance company may try to get you to waive these rights. They know that a knowledgeable car accident attorney can often recover a higher amount of damages, since the insurer won't be able to pull the wool over their eyes and repair your car with aftermarket parts or knock down your medical bills. A car accident attorney's role in your case will be to advocate for the highest compensation the other driver's liability policy allows. For more information, contact companies like Clearfield & Kofsky.