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Who Pays for Car Repairs When the Other Driver Is At Fault?

Published on Jun 25, 2024 by Thomas Law Offices.

Who pays for car repairs when the other driver is at fault

No one leaves home thinking that today is the day they will get into a car crash. However, based on data collected by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there is a car accident somewhere in the country every 13 seconds. If you get into an accident, your first thought will be, “Am I okay?” Your second thought will be, “Who pays for car repairs when the other driver is at fault?” Kentucky’s status as a no-fault state can complicate the answer to that question.

Getting Repairs Paid Under No-Fault Insurance

Kentucky is one of twelve states that provide a choice for no-fault auto insurance for licensed drivers. If you choose the no-fault option, it can impact how you recover compensation for car repairs. Everyone who picks the no-fault option needs to carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability.

You will need to present an estimate for the repair costs to a claim adjuster. The insurance company will pay what they consider to be a reasonable cost for the fixes. If your car is considered a total loss, you will have to negotiate the cash value. That amount is what the car is worth at the time of the crash, not what you originally paid for it. Keep in mind that the insurance carrier will not pay off the car loan, but you can use the money you get for your vehicle to close the financing.

Comparative Negligence

When it comes to property damage, the “no-fault rules” don’t necessarily apply. In other words, you will need to assign fault to determine which party’s insurance will pay for the repairs. The $10,000 property damage coverage you have should cover the expenses in smaller accidents. However, if your repairs exceed that amount, you might need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

If you get into a car accident, you should call the police, especially if injuries are involved. The officer who reports to the accident site will create an accident report that can detail who was at fault in the collision. That report will become a vital piece of evidence for your claim. However, if no police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or state police officer shows up at the scene, you might file a civilian collision report.

Based on the police report, comparative negligence will be applied to determine who pays for the car repairs. That means you can recover the cost of car repairs based on the percentage of fault of the other driver. For instance, if that driver is shown to be 100% at fault, then you will get 100 percent of your out-of-pocket costs. If you share 30% of the blame for the accident, you will only recover 70% of your expenses.

Working With an Attorney

When there is a dispute over fault, it will help to line up the support of a lawyer. At Thomas Law Offices, we have extensive experience in handling car accident claims. Our goal will be to establish that the other driver breached their duty of care and, through their actions, caused the accident that damaged your car. This is the approach we will take when we accept your case:

Gather and Review the Evidence

We will gather and review all the evidence, including witness statements, photos, and videos taken at the scene. If the police report raises questions about who is at fault, an appeal can be filed with your insurance company.

File a Claim and Communicate With the Insurance Company

When you retain a lawyer, they should take over any claims filing you haven’t already taken care of, as well as all communications with your insurer or the at-fault party’s insurance company. We will open negotiations based on the car repair estimates you provided. Those costs can also include rental cars if you lose the use of your vehicle.

File a Lawsuit

Because insurance companies can be described as being in the business of “saying no,” there might not be a fair offer from them that covers your car repair costs. At that point, we can discuss if moving forward with a lawsuit on your behalf is the best course of action. If so, we will provide support and guidance along every step of the way.

There might also be medical expenses associated with your car accident. Your no-fault PIP coverage will automatically cover your medical expenses. However, you can file an additional liability claim if your injury expenses meet certain thresholds. Those include more than $1,000 in medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, or injury. When you consider that the average tip to the ER can go over $1,000, it is easy to see how the threshold can be triggered.

The Thomas Law Offices has a proven history of success with these types of cases. Before any of that claim process can begin, we need to discuss the merits of your case. Call to schedule a consultation to get all your questions answered.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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