Collision insurance can help with the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it was damaged in an accident. Collision insurance is usually mandatory if you lease or finance your car and optional if you own your vehicle.
However, collision insurance typically does not cover all your costs. If you experienced a major accident and suffered significant injuries, you could qualify for additional compensation such as healthcare costs, income loss, and others. If you are not sure what collision insurance is and what exactly it covers, get in touch with us. Our experienced car accident lawyers can advise you on how to recover what you deserve. Contact us now to find out more in a free consultation.
What Collision Insurance Covers
Collision insurance can cover your car damage in the following situations:
- Accident with another vehicle
- Collision with an object such as a tree or a building
- Car damage from potholes
- Single car accidents such as rollovers
While collision coverage can provide peace of mind in many circumstances, it will not cover:
- Damage to your parked vehicle
- Damage to someone else’s car
- Theft of your vehicle
- Wear and tear
- Breakdowns or roadside assistance
- Mechanical failure
- Medical bills
- Liability expenses
It is crucial to note that collision insurance only covers your vehicle’s damage and nothing else. Therefore, if you experienced an accident where you or others suffered injuries, collision insurance will not pay for your medical bills or the bills of other involved parties.
Collision Insurance Limits and Deductibles
Collision insurance typically has a deductible amount, which you have to pay before coverage kicks in. Drivers usually choose their deductible when buying collision coverage. Deductibles can range from around $250 to $2000. If you choose a low deductible amount, your premiums will be higher. Vice versa, if you choose a higher deductible with your policy, your premium payments are typically lower.
Note that there is a limit to collision coverage. The maximum recoverable amount is usually the cash value of your vehicle minus depreciation. If your car is totaled in an accident, your insurance company would reimburse you for your car’s depreciated value minus your deductible amount.
Using Collision Insurance Coverage After an Accident
If your car got damaged in an accident that was another driver’s fault, you could file a vehicle damage claim under your collision coverage or file a claim against the at-fault driver. However, you cannot collect compensation for property damage from both. If your own insurance company paid you, they would most likely try to go after the other driver’s insurance company to get reimbursed.
Insurance Cover in Minor Accidents Versus Major Accidents
If your car got damaged in a fender bender, collision coverage usually pays for repairs, whether you or another driver is at fault for the crash. However, if you are involved in a major crash and have suffered injuries, you will need more than collision insurance to cover your expenses. In this case, you would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Most states require some liability coverage for drivers.
Therefore, the other party’s liability insurance should compensate you for vehicle damage and other expenses.
However, in some cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may deny your claim or underpay you. If this has happened to you, speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your next best steps for recovering the compensation you are owed.
Personal Injury Claims and Collision Insurance
Notwithstanding any collision insurance cover, you generally have the right to pursue a personal injury claim if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You can file a claim against the other driver’s insurer to recover compensation for injuries, lost wages, and other damages resulting from a car crash. In addition, you could also seek reimbursement for any property damage your collision insurance does not cover, such as your deductible or any policy exclusions.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Your Collision Insurance
The major advantage of using your own collision insurance for repairs is that your car insurance company can pay you much quicker. Collision coverage pays your damages regardless of who is at fault, which considerably reduces the wait for a payout. Claiming damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance can take some time as an insurer may dispute the claim. You will then have to prove fault with evidence such as police reports or witness statements.
On the other hand, your own insurance company is responsible for reimbursing you as soon as possible if you have followed their instructions and agreed on repair options.
When collecting your collision insurance payout, you are limited to the coverage amount detailed in your policy. Therefore, if it costs more to repair or replace your car, you will have to pay for the difference out of your own pocket unless you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Additionally, what you can collect from your own collision insurance will be reduced by the deductible specified in your policy.
You Could Have Legal Recourse
If you got involved in a minor car accident without injuries, collision coverage can be an excellent way to deal with your car repair expenses. However, if another is responsible for the accident and you suffered injuries, you could have legal options for recovering your due. A car accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan can determine your options. If you got hurt in a car crash and are not sure what collision insurance is or what your next best steps are, our car accident lawyers can inform you of your rights and walk you through your options for recovering damages.
How a Morgan & Morgan Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Dealing with insurance companies and getting your car fixed or replaced after an accident can be stressful. However, you do not have to handle everything on your own, especially if you are still healing from your injuries. A car accident lawyer can help you with insurance claims and fight for adequate compensation for your damages. Our determined attorneys can help you in several ways:
Protecting Your Rights
If you do not know where to turn after a car accident and are unsure of your rights and next best steps, a car accident attorney can be by your side. We can ensure you receive adequate medical care and explain the best way forward in your individual circumstances. Our attorneys can help you with the necessary paperwork, track your insurance claim, and move forward with a lawsuit.
Determining and Proving Your Losses
Victims in car accidents often underestimate their expenses or forget to collect receipts and statements proving their costs. Our seasoned lawyers know how to calculate your damages, including future estimated medical costs. Knowing what your case is worth will be crucial to avoid accepting a low settlement offer. Your attorney can also collect and organize the relevant documents and receipts proving your expenses.
Handling the Insurance Company
Car insurance companies are often more focused on retaining profits than paying out adequate settlements to accident victims. Therefore, insurers may deny a claim or make lowball settlements, hoping you will give up and go away. We know how to communicate and negotiate effectively with insurance companies. Moreover, insurers know that we do not shy away from taking them to court, if necessary, to fight for what our clients deserve.
Fighting for Your Rights at Court
Only a few personal injury cases end in a trial. Most are resolved with a settlement beforehand. However, having a lawyer in your corner can be essential whether for negotiating an out-of-court settlement or fighting your case in court. Self-representation, while possible, can be tricky and unsuccessful. Most claimants underestimate the complexity and technicalities involved in filing and fighting a lawsuit. We can handle your case from beginning to end and fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.
You Could Qualify for Compensation
Collision insurance can pay to have your car fixed, but what about you? If you suffered a significant injury in a car accident, your medical expenses and other costs could be sky-high and ongoing. If someone else caused your accident, they should pay for your damages. The compensation you could receive with a personal injury lawsuit can include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Income loss and loss of future earning capacity
- Permanent disability
Depending on your specific car accident case and the scope of your injuries, you could also qualify for other or additional damages.