If you have recently been hit by a negligent driver and are having to undergo repairs to your vehicle, there are a few areas of recovery that the insurance carrier handling your claim may not tell you about.  You are entitled to a ‘suitable replacement’ vehicle to the one wrecked.  This doesn’t always mean you will be rented a Cadillac if yours got wrecked. But, it does mean that you will be allowed a full  size sedan for your transportation needs.  If you had a work truck and need a replacement work truck to avoid missing work or jobs, then the at fault driver’s carrier should rent you a truck or van for the duration of your repairs.

Often, an estimate will be made on your vehicle before repairs start.  If the vehicle is still drivable, keep driving it until all the parts have been ordered and arrive.  You don’t want a drivable vehicle sitting at the body shop while you are using up your repair days with a rental. If there are additional repairs that are needed once the breakdown of parts begins, then the body shop will need to get the insurance appraiser out again to authorize additional parts to be ordered or additional repairs.

Once you have been alerted that your car is ready for pick up at the body shop, make sure you take the insurance check for repairs with you or confirm that the body shop has received payment directly from the liability carrier.  If you are asked to sign a release, make sure it is a property damage only release.  Inspect your car while at the body shop. Make notes of any details that need addressing to your satisfaction while there. The shop should guarantee their work.  Also, if your vehicle is 3 years old or younger, you may be entitled to depreciation or crash obsolescence money. This is an actual damage that helps compensate you for the difference in value between your previously un-wrecked vehicle and the vehicle as it now exists, in a repaired condition. This claim must be made in writing to the liability adjuster within 30 days after you pick up your car at the shop. And, a release shouldn’t be signed until this part of the property damage claim has been resolved.