January 19th, 2022
A car accident can turn your life upside down. In addition to injuries, months of recovery, medical bills, and lost income, you must also deal with the loss of the use of your vehicle.
Getting your car repaired after a Michigan car accident can be extremely frustrating, and it can be difficult to know where to turn. The experienced car accident injury attorneys at Muth Law, P.C. are here to help by offering advice and legal representation to help you get back on your feet after a Michigan car accident.
Collision Coverage Pays for Cost of Repairs
In Michigan, your car insurance company is responsible for paying for the cost to repair your vehicle after a car crash. This is known as collision coverage. You will need to have a repair estimate performed, and your insurance company will pay for the cost to repair your vehicle, less the cost of the deductible. In most cases, your collision coverage will also pay for the cost of a rental car while your car is in the shop.
Mini-Tort Claim for Vehicle Repairs
If you do not have collision coverage and only carry personal liability and property damage coverage, your insurance company will not pay for the cost of your vehicle repairs. Instead, you must file a mini-tort claim. To succeed, you must prove that the other driver was at fault, and the other driver must have mini-tort coverage included in his or her car insurance policy.
The at-fault driver’s car insurance company will pay for repairs to your vehicle; but they are only responsible for paying up to $1,000 in repairs, or $3,000 for accidents that happened July 1, 2020, and you must first prove that the other driver was at-fault.
Choosing Who Will Repair Your Vehicle
Just like selecting a doctor to treat your injuries after a car accident, you are entitled to choose who will perform your car repairs. Unfortunately, some car insurance companies will send you to a “hired gun” who will evaluate your vehicle and recommend repairs. These estimates are often good at driving profits for the repair shop and keeping down the cost to the insurance company, but they may not be what you really need for your vehicle.
Even though the insurance adjuster is telling you who they think is best to repair your vehicle, you have the right to choose a repair shop of your choice.
Michigan law requires that car insurance companies disclose whether they have an agreement with any car repair or replacement facility to perform repairs. They must also inform you that you are under no obligation to use a particular repair or replacement facility. Unfortunately, some insurance companies ignore these obligations, preventing you from making an informed decision about where to have your vehicle repaired.
What To Look For When Having Your Car Repaired After a Collision
The insurance company may provide you with a list of repair shops. You can choose where you will have your vehicle repaired. When you are considering which repair shop to choose, there are some factors you should keep in mind.
- Is the facility licensed with the Department of State? The consumer information sign should be posted in a prominent location in the shop.
- What repairs will be performed? When you receive a written estimate, be sure you understand what repairs will be performed and the parts that will be used. If you see the abbreviation LKQ (Like Kind and Quality), know that you are receiving a part that is used, not new. Michigan law requires that a repair shop inform you if they are not using parts that are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Parts that are not OEM may be of a lesser quality and could potentially void the manufacturer warranty on your vehicle.
- Is there a warranty? Before authorizing the repairs, ask if there is a warranty. The repair shop is not required to provide a warranty, but if one is provided, the shop must identify the terms and exclusion in writing. If you are told the repairs will be under warranty, be sure to get a copy of the warranty in writing.
- What about paint? If there are problems involving paintwork that cannot be resolved with the repair shop, you may need to resolve the matter by taking your claim to Small Claims Court.
The Michigan Car Accident Attorneys at Muth Law Can Help
If you were involved in a car accident and the crash caused significant damage to your car, the experienced Michigan car accident attorneys at Muth Law can explain your rights and help you receive compensation for your physical injuries and the damage to your vehicle.
At Muth Law, our attorneys work with people in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and throughout Michigan. We handle car accident claims on a contingency fee, which means you won’t pay us unless we recover money for you.
We invite you to learn more about how we help people who were hurt in a car accident and suffered serious injuries, to read testimonials from other people we have helped, and to contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.
Categories: Auto Accidents