If you’ve had damage done to your car from an auto accident, you’ll probably want to know what happens next. While your insurance company will be your go-to guide for legal steps to take, here are the things that will most likely happen to your car after the fact.
If Your Car Can Be Repaired
If a repair would be a minor thing and you own your vehicle outright, you might have a choice to repair your car or just accept the insurance money involved. However, if you owe money on your car when a fender bender turns into a little bit more than you can handle alone, you may need to take your car to an auto body repair shop. If you don’t have a favorite, your insurance company can refer you to a reliable mechanic who should be able to inspect the damage to the car and determine if it’s possible to perform plastic welding repairs, or replace irreparably damaged parts of the car. At that point, your insurance should help you to recoup some of the repair costs.
If Your Car Was Totaled
If your friendly neighborhood mechanic determines the car is totaled, this means that the cost to repair the damage would outweigh the fair market value from before the accident. In this case, you’re going to find yourself car shopping again, and soon. In this case, you can keep the car and accept the insurance payout minus the ‘salvage value,’ or value you could get for your totaled car at a salvage or junk yard. You also have the option of handing your car over to your insurance company, accepting a slightly higher payout value while they take care of the car’s disposal. Afterward, you’ll hopefully at least have some funds to make a down payment on a new car.
Whether your car can be repaired or not, a car crash can be a traumatic experience. Whatever you do, lean on your insurance company to tell you how to proceed so you can reap the full benefits of that monthly premium you’ve been paying.