How Do I Pay For Damage To My Vehicle?

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, you may have to cope with some severe losses. From injuries that put you out of work for weeks to emotional distress and suffering, you may incur thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses that you are not prepared for. One of the larger bills you may receive is the repairs to your vehicle. Depending on your insurance coverage, you can receive compensation to repair your vehicle, replace your vehicle, or for the lost value of the vehicle.

What Does Your Insurance Cover?

Under Florida state law, all drivers must carry the following minimum car insurance coverage: $10,000 for personal injury protection and $10,000 for property damage liability coverage. In most circumstances, your insurance company will pay for your vehicle damage costs. Your company will determine the amount of compensation you will receive based on the extent of the damage to your vehicle and the type of policy you have.

You can receive the following types of compensation for your vehicle damage under your personal insurance company policy.

  • Repairs: Your insurance company can repair your vehicle if the extent of the damage costs less than it would to replace the vehicle completely. You can pick the body shop to fix your car and can receive parts that are the same condition as your vehicle’s damaged components.
  • Lost value: In circumstances where repairing your vehicle would largely impact your resale value, the insurance company can compensate you for the lost value. This compensation is most common if your vehicle is a sports car, luxury vehicle, or a newer model car.
  • Total reimbursement: In many cases, your vehicle will suffer damage so severe that it would be less expensive for the insurance company to replace your car than it would be to repair it. The company will compare the repair costs to the market value to determine if your vehicle is a total loss. If the repair cost is higher than 80% of the market value, your insurance company will pay you at least 80% of the market value.
  • Rental vehicles: While you are waiting for your vehicle to receive repairs, your insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of renting a replacement vehicle. This payment will allow you to continue your daily activities without disruption.
  • Lost items: In addition to the damage of the vehicle itself, you could receive compensation for the loss of personal property inside the vehicle at the time of the accident. If you experienced damage to items such as electronics, luggage or even your glasses, your insurance policy will replace or repair those items.

What If You Need Additional Compensation?

In some circumstances, the $10,000 in property damage liability may not be enough to compensate for your vehicle repairs. However, you have two additional options to seek further compensation: you can file a third-party insurance claim or you can file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida civil court.

To seek reimbursement through the other driver’s insurance company, you must prove that you suffered serious injuries in the car accident and that the other driver was at fault. To qualify for this compensation, your injuries will have to meet Florida’s threshold for a serious injury. You must have suffered significant disfigurement, bone fractures, substantial disability for at least 90 days, a permanent limitation of a body organ or member, or a significant limitation of a body function or system.

If you need assistance with obtaining compensation for your vehicle damage after an accident, speak to a Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your injury attorney can help you look at the facts of your case and advise you of which pathway would be the best for you to take.