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Joseph M. Ghabour & Associates LLC

In NJ Who Pays for Car Repairs When The Other Driver Is At Fault?

You've been involved in an accident and your car is wrecked. After the initial frustration wears off, you want your car repaired....ASAP. Who is responsible for the repair of YOUR car? In New Jersey, the answer really depends on who is at fault in the accident. In your mind, you are not at fault (unless you blew through the stop signed and T-boned the other car).

Damaged car involved in New Jersey wreckIf you are at fault in the accident and you carry collision coverage (or what is commonly referred to as "Full Coverage") on your auto insurance policy, then your insurance company will pay for your car repairs. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and you must review your insurance policy to make sure that you are covered. For example, most insurance policies carry a "crime" exception....meaning that if you were involved in an auto accident while you were in the commission of a crime, (or running away from the police), your insurance company will in all likelihood, not cover the damage. If you are at fault and you DO NOT carry collision coverage insurance, then you are out of luck and neither your insurance company nor the other driver's insurance company will cover the repair. You are on your own.

If you are not at fault in the accident, you have a couple of options. The first option applies only if you have collision coverage on your auto insurance policy. If you have collision coverage, you can opt to have your own insurance company repair your car. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for paying the deductible on your collision coverage and, when your company receives the money back from the other driver's insurance company, you will get your deductible back. This process can take from 48 hours to 6 months or more (if the other insurance company disputes its driver's liability)

The other option (especially if you do not carry collision coverage on your insurance policy) is to contact the other driver's insurance company and demand that they repair your car. If their driver is at fault, they must repair your car. They will either send an adjuster to the location of the car to examine the car and give you the cost to repair it or they will offer to have you bring your car to one of their "approved" body shops. At that point, it is your option and there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, or if you want more information, click here to order our book, "Your Car is Wrecked! Don't Wreck Your Injury Case" or call us at 800-97-ACCIDENT

Joseph M. Ghabour
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Auto, Bus, Pedestrian, Motorcycle accident, medical malpractice and worker's compensation attorney.

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