Who Pays for My Deductible After a Car Accident?

When something unforeseen like a car accident happens, most people believe that insurance companies will be there to protect them and compensate them for all their losses and damages. However, the reality is far from that. Unfortunately, insurance companies will do whatever it takes to pay out as little as possible, potentially affecting your ability to pay for vehicle damages.

It can be confusing to determine what is expected from you after a car accident. Our best injury lawyers say typically, when you’re in an accident that results in vehicle damage, you have to pay a deductible first before you can get your car fixed. However, you might not even remember what the cost of your deductible is or if you’re required to pay it. The following information will help you understand certain coverages you may have, what deductibles are, and who’s responsible for paying them.

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Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Understanding your auto insurance policies will make your life a whole lot easier after a car accident. This starts with recognizing what deductibles and coverages you have on your policy. Typical coverages that most car owners have or are required to have by law include:

  • Auto Liability Coverage: If you caused an accident to happen, this coverage pays for any bodily injury or property damage that the other party sustained.
  • Personal Injury Protection: Pays for your own (or another insured driver’s) medical expenses.
  • Collision: Helps pay for loss or damage to a vehicle that occurs in an accident.
  • Comprehensive: Helps pay for loss or damage to a vehicle that is not caused by a collision.
  • Uninsured motorists: Pays for damages if you or another insured person is injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Deductibles usually only apply to collision and comprehensive coverages. Consult with an attorney to find out which coverages are required in New York and which you might consider adding to your policy.

What is a Deductible?

A car insurance deductible is a fixed amount of money that you have to pay up front in order to get your car into the shop and fixed so you can get back on the road. If the cost to repair your vehicle is more than the deductible, then your insurance company will cover the rest up to your policy limit. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and it costs $3,000 to fix your car, you’ll be required to pay $500 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $2,500.

When you sign up for a car insurance policy, your deductible amount is something that you choose while talking to your provider. Usually, the higher the deductible, the lower your insurance rate will be since you’ll have to pay a large amount out of pocket. However, if you decide to go with a lower deductible — say $250 — your insurance rate will be higher since your insurer will have to pay for the majority of your repairs.

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When Do I Have to Pay for a Deductible?

Determining who pays for a deductible depends entirely on who is at fault. When you’re in a car accident, it’s important to file a claim with your insurer, let them know all the details of your case, and provide evidence of fault including:

  • Pictures
  • Witnesses
  • Police report
  • Video surveillance (if possible)

While your insurance provider investigates who is at fault in the accident, you could proceed by paying your deductible and getting your car fixed. If it’s determined that you were at fault, you won’t receive compensation for your deductible. However, if your insurance company determines that the other party is at fault, they may choose to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company to cover your deductible and any additional repairs.

In some cases, if your insurer or the at-fault party’s insurer refuses to reimburse you, then you should contact an experienced car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm to review your case and help identify a solution that will best fit your needs.

Our Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Help with Insurance Claims

If you had to pay a deductible for an accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should get the money back from the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay or delays paying your deductible and other losses, speak to a skilled car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm to help recover the compensation that you’re legally entitled to receive.

At The Barnes Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience handling insurance claim disputes and are well-versed in deceiving insurance company tactics. To ensure you receive a fair settlement, complete our contact form or call our office at any time to schedule a free consultation.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000