“Under Kentucky and Tennessee law, the at-fault driver's insurance is responsible for your collision repairs. This article gets you started. For more information, select “Repairs, Rental and Replacement of Your Vehicle.” Mike Burman.
Start with the Police Report: Look at the police report. On the police report, find a box that names the insurance company for the the at-fault vehicle.
Call the At-Fault Insurance Company: When you call, keep notes on who you talked to and what you are told. Get a claim number and the telephone number to an insurance adjuster.
Call the At-Fault Insurance Adjuster: Again, keep notes. If asked, tell the adjuster you were injured but do not discuss your injuries. Just tell the adjuster you are calling for help with your vehicle repairs. Talk to the adjuster about:
- Tow truck bills and fees
- Repairs to your vehicle
- What happens if the body shop finds more damage
- Rental vehicle
Use a Reputable Auto Body Shop: A good body shop professional can walk you through the process and work with the insurance adjuster. But a good body shop is usually busy, and so, keep notes on the date your vehicle will be repaired. Understand the costs and what will be repaired. Get a copy of the complete repair estimate.
Once Repaired, Check for Quality Repairs: Check your vehicle carefully for repairs done to your satisfaction. Pull the vehicle into the sun and look at any new paint. Does the new paint match the original paint? Are gaps between metal parts aligned and straight? Point out concerns to the body repairman. Do not pay until you are fully satisfied.
Make Sure the Release is for “Property Damages Only”: When the insurance company pays for the repairs, the adjuster will ask you to sign a release. A release is a contract that says you will not ask for any more money to repair your vehicle. Make sure you read the release carefully. Do not sign anything that says “damages resulting from the accident” or “in full and final settlement” because that type of release could affect your personal injury case. Only sign a release that specifically states “for property damages only.”
“If you are not sure what you are signing, then contact me.” Mike Burman.