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Posted On August 27, 2013 Personal Injury

Your Questions Answered: Why Do I Have to Pay My Deductible on My Property Damage, If the Other Driver Caused the Accident?

You need your car – to get to work, take the kids to school, go on family outings, and even for purposes as basic and necessary as going to the doctor when you’re hurt. Like it or not, life as you know it depends on having reliable transportation. So when a car accident leaves you with serious injuries and property damage, you’re facing physical impairments and transportation difficulties that make adjusting to life after the accident even harder.

Like you, many victims who approach their insurance companies about vehicle repairs are shocked to learn that they still have to shell out the money for their deductible from their own personal finances, even though the accident the other driver’s fault. You may be able to recover that money in a personal injury claim, or even better, get your vehicle repaired at no cost to them. You have options after an accident – so seek quality legal advice to ensure that you are making a sound decision before you pay out your hard-earned cash.

Collision Coverage

If your insurance company has asked you to pay a deductible to get the vehicle repaired, that means you are pursuing repairs under the collision coverage portion of your auto insurance policy. Your deductible may be as low as $250 or as high as $2,500, but it is still money that you have to pay out of your pocket at a time when your family may already be financially vulnerable due to medical expenses and lost wages. The benefit of pursuing your auto repairs through your insurance company is that the process is likely to be quicker. Collision coverage would be accessible even if you had caused the accident, so any disputes over who is at fault will not slow down this process. Obviously, if the other driver fled the scene or didn’t have insurance at all, you would have to go through your own insurance coverage. If you don’t want to pay a deductible and the at-fault driver did have insurance, though, you may want to consider filing a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company.

Third-Party Claims

A third-party claim is the term for seeking repair costs from the other driver’s insurance company rather than your own. When you choose to go this route, you won’t have to pay a deductible as you would with your own insurance company. However, the process may take longer, especially if the other driver attempts to dispute the claim that he or she caused the accident.

How you choose to handle your auto repairs is a personal decision, but our attorneys are happy to provide their experienced legal advice on this and many other matters during a free consultation.