After an accident, it is essential that you take your car to an experienced mechanic for a thorough examination. This is especially applicable to older vehicles, as, at times, it is difficult to tell what types of damages may have been incurred. Additionally, waiting too long to have your car examined following a collision may result in you becoming ineligible for property damage compensation. Many insurers will require a vehicle check-up, and refusal to comply may have negative consequences. If you are unsure of whether you should have your vehicle checked following a collision, get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer for guidance on this matter.
Know When to Have Your Car Repaired
If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, your agreement may require that you keep your vehicle in proper condition for the duration of your loan. If this is the case, your auto insurance policy may include the leaser or lender as an additional party. This inclusion enables the leaser or lender to require you to seek repairs, even if that is not your preference. If you are hesitating on whether you should take your vehicle to a mechanic following a collision, review your contract to see if such requirements apply to you.
Even if you are not legally required to seek repairs, it is in your best interest to do so. If repairs are not performed, you may find your vehicle in worse condition if another accident were to occur. This would be the case if certain damages went undetected, such as an issue with the drivetrain that may have worsened over time.
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Additionally, those who refuse to have their vehicle seen by a mechanic after a car accident may lose their eligibility for compensation. Insurers typically provide compensation for repairs only when damages are a direct result of a collision or single, distinguishable event. If it is not clear where the damages came from, your insurer is unlikely to provide the necessary funds. Damagesresulting from a collision must be made clear as soon as possible. (Waiting too long after a crash to have your vehicle repaired may raise suspicions, and result in no compensation.)
What If I Refuse to Have my Car Repaired?
Refusing to have your car repaired following an accident will result in three primary things:
- The value of your vehicle will be significantly reduced.
- Your vehicle will be less safe to drive, increasing the likelihood of another accident.
- You may be at risk of committing insurance fraud*.
*When your insurer disburses the funds for repair, you must know whether they have released the money with an order for repair. This requirement would be evident if a check were made out to both you and the chosen repair shop. In this case, you must not use this money for anything other than vehicle repairs.
If you are struggling to decide whether to use your compensation for repairing your vehicle, consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. They will help you to think through your circumstances, andcommunicate the possible legal repercussions for refusing car repairs. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer today to avoid unnecessary consequences.