Car crashes can cause serious injuries and even kill people. If you didn’t suffer any major injuries in a significant wreck, you likely already consider yourself quite fortunate.
Of course, you won’t have walked away without any consequences even if you avoided a serious injury. The property damage that you sustained could have a lasting effect on your personal finances. You may need to repair your vehicle because it is no longer safe to drive.
Can you count on the insurance policy of the driver who caused the crash to pay for the repairs to your damaged vehicle?
Yes, liability coverage applies to vehicle repairs
Every driver in Georgia has to carry liability insurance. Plenty of people carry extra coverage, but all drivers should have a policy that meets the minimum requirements established by state law. When it comes to property damage, every driver in Georgia should have $25,000 in liability coverage at a minimum.
Depending on the vehicle you drive and the seriousness of the wreck, that coverage might be enough to repair your vehicle. Others will be left with bills that insurance won’t pay.
Why would damage to a vehicle cost more than $25,000?
The damage to your vehicle could be much higher than the coverage carried by the driver at fault for the crash. If you drive a relatively new vehicle or an import, the expenses could the significantly more than what the insurance will cover. Those with wheelchair-accessible vehicles may also have repair costs beyond what insurance will pay.
Individuals whose vehicle is a total loss, meaning that the insurance company says it is not safe to repair the vehicle and continue driving, may need more than $25,000 worth of reimbursement to buy a replacement vehicle. Finally, even if there is just enough to cover the cost of vehicle repairs, there may not be enough coverage to pay for the depreciation of the vehicle, which is how its price will drop on the resale market because of the damage it incurred.
Those with crash costs higher than the insurance available may need to bring a personal injury lawsuit, rather than just an insurance claim, against the other driver. Georgia law does allow you to recover property damage expenses in addition to injury-related costs. Knowing your rights after a motor vehicle crash can help you move on with your life.