When it comes to getting compensation after a serious auto accident, most people are concerned about their medical bills and lost wages. Medical bills can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially if you need surgery and a prolonged stay in the hospital. Lost wages can also add up quickly, and victims often find it difficult to stay on top of their living expenses when they aren’t getting paid.
However, vehicle property damage can also be a major cost. Many Oklahomans rely on their vehicles to get to work, take their kids to school, and to accomplish daily errands, including attending medical appointments. They may not have another vehicle, and they may not have enough money to repair their vehicle after it’s damaged in an accident.
Property damage claims can be filed alongside injury claims after auto accidents to pay for vehicle repairs or even a replacement. However, can people file property damage claims if they already have collision coverage under their own auto insurance policy?
You Can File Your Property Damage Claim Against Your Policy or the At-Fault Driver’s Policy
If you have a collision coverage insurance policy, you can choose to file your claim against it or against the driver’s liability coverage policy.
Reasons to file against your own coverage:
- Oklahoma law prohibits insurance companies from raising rates on policies for victims who weren’t at fault for their crashes.
- You may have an easier time getting compensation for your vehicle repairs, but this isn’t a guarantee—especially if you were assigned some degree of fault for the crash.
- You don’t have to worry about how much property damage coverage the other driver has or even whether they are insured.
- You may get more money with less hassle depending on how much collision coverage you purchased.
Reasons to file against the other driver’s coverage:
- You don’t have to pay your deductible. Instead, the other driver’s liability coverage will pay your property damage settlement up to the driver’s coverage limit.
- You may be able to negotiate for more money if you’re already suing them for other economic and non-economic damages, as your attorney will be able to negotiate your property damage claim alongside everything else.
- You may be able to get a rental vehicle paid for by the other driver’s policy while yours is being repaired or replaced, even if you don’t have the same perk with your own policy.
- You can always file a claim against your own coverage if the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim.
Regardless of which policy you decide to file your claim against, you still need to notify your own insurer of the accident within a short timeframe, even if you’re filing a claim against the other driver’s insurer. Call them and report the accident ASAP.
If you wait too long, it can jeopardize your chances of getting any compensation through your own policy if needed, whether it’s through your collision coverage, your MedPay coverage, or your uninsured driver coverage.
Unsure How to Process with Your Property Damage Claim? We Can Help.
Every auto accident is unique, and so are the damages claims that follow when victims need compensation. At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, our Oklahoma auto accident attorneys can help you maximize your chances of getting every penny you’re owed for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and vehicle repair costs.
First, we’ll determine exactly how damaged your vehicle was during the crash. Then, we’ll review your auto insurance policy, including your collision coverage, and compare it to the other driver’s liability coverage to find out which policy may give you the best deal.
Finally, we’ll negotiate to get you a fair settlement. Remember—just because you’re filing a claim against your own policy doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a settlement without a lawyer. Insurers can and do deny their own policyholders all the time. It’s our goal to ensure that doesn’t happen to you. Contact us today for a free consultation.