What Car Insurers Won't Tell You After a Car Accident
Vehicles are a big investment for many consumers, but unfortunately many drivers aren't sure of how to protect their rights under the San Diego lemon law, don't understand other consumer protection laws applicable to vehicles, and don't know what to do after auto accidents happen.
Unfortunately, you cannot assume your car manufacturer is on your side when you have repeated issues, and you cannot assume your auto insurer has your best interests at heart after an accident. It is up to you to educate yourself on how to protect your rights – or to get legal help when appropriate.
What Your Insurer Won't Tell You After an Accident
One of the key times when you're vulnerable to financial loss is after a motor vehicle collision. KTAR recently explained five things your auto insurer won't tell you after a crash that you need to know. These include:
- You have the right to select where repair work is performed: Auto insurers often try to force you into getting work done at a shop of their choosing. However, these shops may be chosen because they charge the insurer the lowest costs, not because they're the best or most reputable.
- The auto dealer should be your ally: You can ask the repair shop to help you to deal with your insurer. Auto repair shops typically have experience negotiating with insurers and may be able to facilitate the process of getting repairs approved and paid.
- Be wary of the lowest-cost estimate: While you want a good deal, the cheapest bid may not be the best one it comes to car repairs. You want a body shop that is going to use original manufacturer parts and that will not just make your vehicle look as good as new but that will also make sure that the structural integrity of your vehicle is in tact after the crash.
- You can challenge the auto insurer's valuation: When the car insurer tells you what your car is worth, you do not have to just take their word for it and accept whatever they offer you if the car is totaled. You can challenge the valuation they assigned to your car and, if you have documents bolstering your claim, you may be able to get the insurer to raise their estimate of the vehicle's value.
- You only need to get one estimate: Many people think they need to get numerous estimates after an accident happens, but this is not the case. If you have a trusted mechanic who you want to do the repairs, you don't have to shop around for a cheaper one or get competitive bids.
Although these tips are helpful, if you have concerns about your rights after a collision, you should talk to a San Diego lemon law lawyer. There are also many other circumstances in which you should get legal help in connection with your vehicle – including when you buy a new car that has lots of problems and you are considering pursuing a remedy under California's lemon laws.