How Do I Get My Car Repaired or Replaced After an Accident?

Is your vehicle damaged or totaled after a car accident in Milwaukee, WI?

If you’re involved in a car accident in Brew City, you probably have a lot of questions about what happens to the car you were driving. Do a police report be needed? Will the other driver’s insurance company cover the repair costs? Will the damaged vehicle be replaced entirely? How can a rental car be secured while the car gets repaired?

The costs of a car accident are often high, particularly if there’s a lot of property damage involved in your insurance claim and your car needs to spend significant time at the repair facility. You need a trusted car accident lawyer in Milwaukee to ensure you’re treated fairly by the insurance company with a fair car accident settlement.

When is a Car Considered “Totaled” After an Auto Accident?

Repairing widespread damage to a vehicle after a major collision can sometimes cost more than the vehicle is worth. The good news is, if your vehicle’s damage means that the cost to repair your car is more than 70% of the value of your car, then it will be deemed a “total loss.” In this case, the insurance company should replace that vehicle or pay you the full value for the vehicle instead of paying for just the repairs.

The auto body shop will be able to give you an estimate before the official repair process begins, giving you an idea of how the cost to get your car fixed compares to its overall value. Keep in mind that it’s best not to depend solely on the insurer’s estimate and instead get more than one estimate from your own sources – like several repair shops. After all, insurance companies are invested in paying you as little as possible for your claim.

Which Insurance Company Pays for Car Repairs After an Accident?

One common question is: Who is going to actually pay the repair shop directly for the property damage to your vehicle? If you have your own insurance – particularly if you carry collision insurance (or comprehensive insurance for non-collision events) – typically what is going to happen is your car insurance provider is going to pay out of your collision coverage. They’ll pay to either get your car repaired at an auto body shop or replace your vehicle entirely, depending on the amount of damage.

Then, your auto insurance company will go after the at-fault driver and either get their money back from the other driver’s liability insurance company or sue that driver in a civil lawsuit. Either way, you won’t be on the hook for vehicle repairs when you weren’t at fault for the car accident.

Will I Get a Rental Car While My Car Repairs are Underway?

So, let’s talk about rentals. While your car is being repaired – or while you’re in the process of replacing it completely – you’re going to need a vehicle. This is often a problem because most people don’t have rental insurance on their car insurance policy. If you do have rental coverage, then your insurance company is going to pay for you to rent a vehicle for the period of time that your car is in the auto repair shop or until you can replace your car.

However, rental coverage is often pretty limited. Usually what we see is that the policy will cover a maximum amount for a rental vehicle or it will cover the rental for a period of only about 20 to 30 days. If it takes longer to get the replacement parts in or to repair the vehicle overall, you may not get your car back until after that period. You may end up paying for a portion of the rental out of pocket. That’s why we try to get the other driver’s insurer to pay for that rental outright. If they won’t pay, we’ll add the rental expenses to your claim and we’ll try to make up for that at the end of your personal injury case.

What Other Costs Can I Expect Besides Rental Fees and Car Repairs After an Accident?

So, we’ve talked a little bit about car repairs and rental car costs. Other costs that come up after a car accident are towing and storage charges. For these costs, the same situations apply: If you have insurance on your own vehicle, typically your insurance company is going to pay those rental and storage fees. At the end of the case, either your car insurance provider is going to go after the other driver or their insurance company, or we’ll add those costs to your personal injury claim if you have out-of-pocket miscellaneous or additional repair costs. We’ll try to recoup any and all costs as part of your claim.

Welcenbach Injury Law’s Courtesy Property Damage Recovery Services

So, the final question is: Do we at Welcenbach Injury Law charge you to recover your vehicle damage? And the answer is no. This is something that our law firm does as a courtesy to our personal injury clients to try to get them back into their vehicle (or to get a new car) and to recover their deductible, their towing charges, their storage fees, and their car rental costs from the other driver.

Contact a Trusted Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a car accident in Milwaukee, WI, you need the expert legal representation of experienced personal injury lawyers to get a fair settlement. You may be facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs after an accident, and you’re entitled to seek compensation for those damages. Contact Welcenbach Injury Law today for a free consultation, and we’ll ensure you get the best possible outcome for your property damage claim – even if it means filing a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Author Bio

Robert J. Welcenbach Robert Welcenbach is an Owner and Partner at Welcenbach Injury Law, a family-owned personal injury law firm in Milwaukee, WI. With more than 24 years of experience practicing law, he seeks justice for clients in a wide range of legal areas, including car accidents, class actions, dog bites, nursing home abuse, and other personal injury matters.

Robert received his Juris Doctor from the Marquette University Law School and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being nominated and selected as a Milwaukee Personal Injury and Class Action Super Lawyer every year since 2008.

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