After an OBX wreck, what happens to my car? Who pays for vehicle damages? Am I required to get my car fixed after an accident?
One of the more immediate concerns after an Outer Banks car accident is dealing with getting your car repaired. Even with a rental, which may be an option in some instances, it takes time to review the damages and schedule work to be performed. It also may take more than one shop, especially if there is substantial frame damage, bodywork, and the need for painting.
While a lot of focus is understandably placed on personal injuries, medical care, and outstanding medical bills, lawyers also provide legal representation for property damages, vehicle repair, valuation of the loss, and depreciation after a wreck.
Property damage after an car accident is an important aspect of the case legal presentation. Indeed, it often proves to be one of the more immediate needs of our clients. It’s also regularly a source for contention, as accident insurance companies often don’t want to pay the fair market value – Danny Glover, OBX lawyer
A lot depends on the nature and extent of the wreck. What type of vehicles were involved? Was is 18 wheeler vs car? UPS truck vs mini-van? Pickup truck vs Honda Prius? SUV vs motorcycle?
To some extent, it comes down to physics, the weight of the respective vehicles, the speed at impact, and whether any effort was made prior to the collision to change direction or stop prior to the accident. Vehicle damages can be complicated. Part of the calculation for damages also includes the make and year of your car. Older model vehicles depreciate over time and may be difficult to fix if parts are unavailable.
It’s also relevant for the insurance defense attorney to deduct from the value “high mileage” and prior damages. And as a result, the type of vehicles involved in the OBX car accident (or motorcycle accident) is as important as how your car or motorcycle was damaged as a result of a traffic “accident.”
While it may be common for defense lawyers to use the term “car accident,” there really is no such thing as an accident. If you were injured as a result of negligence, that was not an accident. A decision was made, whether it be to not follow the NC traffic laws or the failure to operate a vehicle in both a safe and lawful manner.
Motorcycle wrecks are often a total loss. It doesn’t take much impact to completely destroy a motorcycle. There is an inverse relationship with motorcycle accidents in the Outer Banks NC. The property damages tend to be lower, because motorcycles aren’t as expensive as most cars. But the personal injury claims are substantially higher, because the person on the motorcycle has nowhere near the same protection as a car accident – Danny Glover, OBX motorcycle accident lawyer
Damages after a car accident involve more than exterior repairs
The way cars are designed and built nowadays sometimes disguise the true nature and extent of vehicle damages. Back in the 1950’s American cars dominated the roadways and everything was fabricated out out steel. If you crumpled a bumper back then, it wasn’t hard to imagine the level of impact.
You could look at a quarter-panel or smashed front-end and understand the relationship between vehicle speeds and the mass of vehicles in a car accident case.
Vehicles today are built with ultra-light and resilient materials. Indeed, some very smart engineers have learned to transfer and distribute loads associated with the force of impact after a car accident. An exterior bumper might “pop back out” with a minimal amount of work, disguising substantial vehicle damages to energy absorbers and brackets.
Under United States Federal Automotive Laws 49 CFR Part 581 a “Bumper Standard” was put into place to limit exterior damages at barrier impact speeds. Hidden under the exterior (attached to both front and back bumpers) of most newer-model vehicles are compressible, accordion-like rubber compression modules.
In inspecting for vehicle damages after a car accident, it’s important to look for telltale signs of the impact such as missing or cracked plastic facia. That often means putting your car on a lift and completing a visual inspection of the hidden areas of the car. It also may mean removing the bumpers and looking for damage to the energy absorbers and even to the frame of the vehicle.
If a frame is bent after a car accident, which is relatively common after semi truck accidents and large vehicle vs small vehicle collisions, very little can be done to repair the car. Contrary to what an insurance adjuster may tell you, vehicles with a bent frame will never ride the same, they’ll be subject to a host of consistent repair issues, and should in most instances be declared a “total loss” or “totaled.”
Am I required to get my car fixed after an OBX car accident?
You’re entitled to the full value of damages, which means either the total loss amount or the amount that it would cost to repair the vehicle, but it’s your car, and you’re not required to get it fixed if you don’t want to.
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Will insurance require my car to be repaired in NC? 1705z18