Who Pays the Deductible in a Car Accident?

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You may be confronted with many costs after your car accident. You could hear terms that you may not understand, along with people who are demanding payment.

Not only are you dealing with those payments, but you could be inundated by other details. After you have had a car accident, paying the deductible would be an immediate and pressing concern while you wait for any settlement.

Contact the Wilmington auto accident attorneys at Horton & Mendez if you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident.

What You Need to Know About Your Car Insurance Policy

There are several main aspects of your car insurance policy to know about:

  • Each policy will specify the total amount of premium to be paid, which is usually paid as a monthly bill
  • Your policy will cover damages up to a certain amount
  • The car insurance company will cover your damages and costs associated with the accident beyond a certain point

How a Deductible Works with a Car Insurance Policy

Every car insurance policy will specify the minimum amount that you need to pay when you make a claim against your own policy. This is known as the deductible. This is otherwise known as your own cost share for any claim.

Practically every insurance policy expects you to pay some amount towards car accident costs. Deductibles can range from $250 to $1,000 for most policies, although there are some with no deductible. Most car insurance policies have a deductible of around $500.

The lower the deductible, the more you will need to pay in premiums because the insurance company would be footing more of the bill for any claim. Some drivers will take their chances that they will not have a car accident, and they will opt for a higher deductible policy. The higher the percentage of the costs that you will cover, the lower your monthly premiums.

Many drivers opt for a high deductible policy, all so that they can afford to get on the road. They will be in a more difficult financial position when they have an accident that they never expected. $1000 is a lot of money when you are handed other expenses.

Car accident claims can result in immediate costs for you to get back on the road. You would need repairs to your car to fix the immediate damage to your car. Body shops can charge large amounts of money for repairs. Even what seems like “minor” car accident damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

The escalating price of car parts and paints can mean outsized repair shop bills.

What to Do When You Are Waiting for a Car Accident Settlement

The problem that you face is that the car accident claims process can take many months or more to resolve. If you were not at fault for the car accident, the other driver’s car insurance would need to pay the costs, However, that is not something that would happen overnight. The process could be lengthy, and you may even need to file a lawsuit for final resolution of your case.

In the meantime, you may at least have to deal with your own car insurance company to get driving again. In most cases, you would need to make payment of your part of the repairs directly to the body shop.

You Could Be Paid Back Your Deductible in a Car Accident Settlement

The claims process would still proceed as usual. If the other party is determined to be at fault for the accident, then you would negotiate a settlement from their insurance.

The deductible is one of the things that would be paid back to you as part of your settlement. Your own insurance policy would be reimbursed for any money that it has already paid towards your car repairs once you receive the settlement. Your insurance company would recover the deductible on your behalf.

Timing is often an issue for car accident victims. They are already dealing with high costs related to the accident. Every dollar matters when you are waiting for a car accident settlement.

Ordinarily, you would want to recover the deductible as soon as possible.

However, it is often part of the overall process. The other driver’s insurance company would not want to pay any money in advance of a final settlement, so you may have to wait for this payment until the overall claim is completed.

If you are not at fault for the car accident, you would eventually not be responsible for any of the expenses of the car accident, at least up to the extent of the other driver’s insurance coverage and your own underinsured coverage. You would be paid for all of your car accident losses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Damages to your car
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

You Would Only Pay One Deductible Per Accident

If you were the one at fault for the car accident, you would not be responsible for two different deductibles. Your own liability insurance has nothing to do with your own deductible. As far as you are concerned, the only money that should come out of your pocket, as long your policy is enough to cover all the damages, is the one deductible that you would pay. If you are responsible for the car accident, the insurance company would pay for all the damages that the other driver has suffered.

Do I Need to Pay the Deductible if Not at Fault? Ask a Wilmington, NC Car Accident Attorney

The attorneys at Horton & Mendez can advise you on any and all legal issues relating to your car accident. We can gather evidence that could help prove that someone else was to blame for the accident, putting them in the position of needing to pay for your damages.

Take the first step by contacting us to schedule your free initial consultation.

You can message us online, or you can call us today at 910-405-7751. You owe us nothing unless you win your case.

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