If you are in an automobile accident in North Carolina that is someone else’s fault one of the first things you will have to deal with is what to do about the damage to your automobile.  This blog will answer a few questions about how to deal with property damage after an automobile accident in North Carolina.

To begin with, make sure you have plenty of good pictures of the damage.  This will help support your personal injury case as well as deal with the  property damage after an automobile accident in North Carolina.

If your car is not drivable you have the right to have your car towed to and repaired at any shop you want.  If you do not have a shop preference the responding officer will usually have the car towed to a local repair shop on the “rotation” or list of shops that will take vehicles damaged in automobile accidents.  Ask the officer at the scene where your car will be towed to and write it down.

The workers at the repair shop will first prepare am estimate of damages.  Generally you will want to make sure this estimate includes original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts.  The adjuster with the at-fault insurance company will review this estimate and, hopefully approve the repairs. You will usually be provided a rental car for use while your vehicle is being repaired.

If the repair cost exceeds 75% of the value of the vehicle then it is a total loss by law.  In this case the insurance company for the person at fault in the accident should compensate you for the fair market value of the vehicle.  Do your research to help negotiate this amount.  Use online resources like Edmunds.com and cars.com to find comparable cars in terms of make and trim level, model year and mileage.  You are also entitled to be reimbursed for the sales tax you paid when you purchased the automobile.

If the repair cost is between 25% and 75% of the value of the car then the automobile will be reported to the Division of Motor Vehicles as damaged.  This information will show up on services like Carfax, which identify automobiles that have been in an accident.  If your vehicle fits in this range you should be compensated for this “depreciation” which is the difference between what the vehicle was worth wrecked versus not wrecked.

Please feel free to email or call if you have questions about property damage after an automobile accident in North Carolina.