Tips Following a Car Accident

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Having a car accident is a traumatizing and nerve-wracking experience, no matter if it is a serious accident or not.  Immediately following the event, you may be confused, scared, and more than a little worried.  It might be very difficult for you to keep your head clear and to remember what you need to take care of in such a delicate situation.  Keep these tips in mind, and consider printing them off as a checklist to help you organize your thoughts immediately following a car accident.

Remain calm

First and foremost, try to remain calm.  Take deep breaths, and focus carefully on what just happened.  You must be able to calm your mind and body enough to deal with the aftermath of the accident.  Panicking will only make the situation worse.

Be safe

Turn on your hazard lights if you are unable to move your car off to the side of the road.  Even if you can move your car, you may want to turn on the lights if the accident took place on a busy road.  This will alert other drivers to the presence of your stalled vehicle, and it will also make it easier for emergency response vehicles or the police to find you.

Check for injuries and damage

Take inventory as soon as you can of any injuries to yourself or passengers in your vehicle.  If you are able to get out of the car, check it for damage and take pictures with your phone’s camera if this is an option.  Remember to take pictures of the other driver’s vehicle as well, when you have a chance.  Check in with the other driver to assess any injuries that might have taken place there.  Even if no one is hurt, call the police to document the accident.

Keep a record

Write down the date, time, and location of the accident, and get the other driver’s insurance information, driver license number, car make and model, name, and contact information.  This may be a lot to try to keep straight when you are shaken up after an accident, but when it comes time to report the event to your insurance provider, you will be glad you took this step.

Check for witnesses

If there are witnesses in the form of passengers in your vehicle or the other driver’s, or if someone on the street saw what happened, take down the name and contact information of these people.  They may be vital in determining who was at fault when it comes time to discuss the accident with your insurance provider.

Contact your insurance

Your insurance provider will need to know what happened.  You may feel a little nervous about reporting the accident to them, but they will help talk you through everything you need to do to file a claim in the proper way.  If you have followed the other steps listed above, you should have all of the information the company will need to process the claim efficiently and get back to you soon.  In the meantime, try to relax and focus on recovering your body and your nerves from the accident.

Do I get a Courtesy Car if My Car is Written Off?

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It is never fun being involved in a car accident, and the problems only increase when you find out that your car has been written off.  No one wants to receive that notification from their insurance company.  If this has happened to you, you might be wondering what your options are, and particularly whether or not you are going to be able to get a courtesy car.  The choices you have completely depend upon the circumstances of the accident.

What is car write off?

Simply put, a care writeoff means that you are not going to be able to get your car back from the insurance company after being involved in an accident.  The company will keep your car, no repairs will be rendered, and you will be compensated somewhat for the loss of your vehicle.  This usually happens when the car has been so badly damaged during the accident that it would be much too costly (or, in some cases, impossible) to repair it enough to get it back on the road again.  The condition of your car must be assessed by an insurance-appointed inspector before the final verdict can be rendered.

Can I get a courtesy car?

If you were not deemed “at fault” for the accident, you are immediately entitled to a courtesy car when your vehicle is written off.  The courtesy car is provided at no cost to you, and your insurance company will not be charged for the car either.  Instead, the insurer of the at fault party pays the entire fee for the courtesy car.  When this happens, you will be allowed to keep the courtesy car for the entirety of the time until the settlement from the at fault insurance company is received, or the company provides proof that the settlement has been paid out to you.

If you are at fault for the accident, on the other hand, you may not be entitled to a courtesy car.  In this situation, your insurance company is the at fault insurer, and will not usually pay for you to have a car to use.  There are instances where this is not true, however; sometimes, your insurance policy might include the use of a courtesy car for a set period of time even if you are the at fault driver.  If you are unclear on these specifications, contact your provider directly to find out if you qualify.

When your car is written off, you may panic, but you have options.  There are ways to get you back behind the wheel of a vehicle while you try to figure out what to do to replace your own, and a courtesy car is one of the best methods of providing you a sense of security in such a trying and difficult time.  Remember that if you are not at fault, you can have a courtesy car immediately, at no out of pocket cost to you.  Do not be afraid to speak to your insurance provider about this alternative.

What is the Other Party Liable for in a Car Accident?

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After any car accident, it is natural to want answers.  You may be stuck without your vehicle for the foreseeable future, and it is possible that you may have even sustained some injuries to your body as well as to your car.  Accidents are an unfortunate part of the life of a motorist, but the aftermath of those accidents does not have to be a complicated matter.  It is important to educate yourself on the liabilities and responsibilities of both parties after a car accident has taken place.  Liability is decided solely based on the burden of fault.

When you are at fault

You will be deemed at fault for the accident when you were directly responsible for the situation that led to it.  More often than not, this means that you were probably not paying attention, and might have been reading a map, texting or playing with your cell phone, reaching into the back seat, or talking to a passenger in your vehicle.  If this is the case, you are going to be held liable for the accident.

When you are at fault, you are responsible for paying to repair or otherwise compensate for any damages or injuries caused by the accident.  If you have good car insurance, your insurance provider will fight for you, but they may not be able to argue in your favor if the evidence is particularly incriminating.  The coverage your insurance will provide completely depends upon your policy.  If the damages received by the other driver exceed that coverage limit, you will be responsible for paying the rest out of pocket.  If you do not have car insurance at all, you are responsible for paying for the damages as well as any fees incurred for not being an insured driver.

When you are deemed at fault, the other party is not liable for anything.  Payment falls to your insurance provider, and to you, without any compensation required from the other party.  After the payment is taken care of, you will probably see an increase in your insurance rates because you are no longer considered a safe driver.

When you are not at fault

Sometimes, the other driver is responsible for road negligence.  If this is the verdict, then the other driver will hold the same liabilities that you would have if you had been deemed at fault.  In some instances, however, neither party is at fault, and the accident is caused by weather, debris in the road, or even road construction.  The real culprit of the accident might also be a malfunctioning of your vehicle, or of the other driver’s vehicle.  In these situations, no one is at fault, and both parties are simply responsible for paying for their own repairs and any other services required after the accident.

When the other driver is at fault, he or she is liable for all damages and injury.  Payment will likely come from the other driver’s insurance company.  In a no-fault situation, no one is liable for anything.  In both of these situations, you should not see an increase in your insurance rates, but it is still possible.

Getting Back on the Road after a Car Accident

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When you have a car accident, you might not want to get back on the road right away.  Regardless of how nervous or shaken up you might feel, however, you are going to need access to a car again, and probably sooner rather than later.  You may be unsure of how to progress in the days following your accident, but it is not too difficult to get back on the road whether you have your old vehicle or a courtesy car instead.  You have options, and it is important to be educated on what your choices are.

Mental hurdles

To begin with, it is important to take care of your mental battles before they get the best of you.  You might be very scared to drive a vehicle again, particularly after a nasty accident, and this is a perfectly normal response.  If you were the driver of a vehicle in which you or someone else got hurt, it may take a lot more time for you to get over the trauma of this event.  No matter what, even if your accident was a small one, it is important to give yourself a few days to recuperate emotionally in the wake of the crash.

If you are unable to perform normal activities, including getting behind the wheel of a car, after a couple of days of down time, you might need to consider talking to someone professional in order to get back on the road.  In some instances, you might just need a little more time to calm your nerves, but drivers have been known to be scared completely away from driving because of accidents they were involved in.  Do not let this happen to you.  Keep close tabs on your emotional state, and do not be afraid to do something about it if you feel like you might need help.

Vehicle obstacles

Hopefully, your car will not be too damaged, and it will be able to be repaired quickly and get back on the road in no time.  Unfortunately, this is sometimes not the case.  Your vehicle might be deemed repairable, but at a significant or excessive expense.  If your insurance company decides that either of these are true, your vehicle may be held for repairs while you decide whether or not to pay the cost or to simply look for a new car.  In extreme circumstances, your car might be deemed unsafe for road use ever again, even with repairs.  If this is the case, it will be written off, and you will not see your vehicle again.

When something happens to keep you away from your vehicle, consider a courtesy car.  If you are not at fault for the accident, a courtesy car is available to you at no cost.  Even if you were at fault, you may be able to take part in this useful service, and you can call your insurance company to find out more information.

Questions you Should Ask your Smash Repairer

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Following an accident, you are likely to be working closely with a smash repairer.  The job of a smash repairer is to fix the body of your vehicle and get it back to an as good as new, factory-quality state so that you are able to drive it safely once again.  The smash repairer might repair a damaged part of your vehicle, or perhaps order and install a replacement part.  For the most part, this work will revolve around the vehicle’s body, paint, and windows only, and the inner workings of the car will be handled by someone else.  Regardless of the severity of the accident and the damage done to your vehicle, it is important to stay in constant communication with your smash repairer, and to know what to ask to get the answers you need.

What are the quality standards of your work?

This may not sound like a very specific question, but you can use the smash repairer’s answer to help you determine whether or not he or she pays attention to detail.  The smash repairer might mention being sure that the vehicle can steer easily after work has been completed, that it sounds better than it did when it was dropped off, or that the paint perfectly matches the existing color.  Small details like this can make a big difference.

How long will the work take to complete?

Smash repairers might not like this question, but do not let them get away without giving you at least some kind of time estimate.  This gives them a goal that they must adhere to, or risk losing your patronage in the future.  Of course, if something really does come up, be patient, but remind the repairer that you were quoted a specific amount of time that has been exceeded.  This can help keep your repairs on track.

Who is responsible for talking to the insurance?

Ask the smash repairer if the paperwork and documentation of your repairs can be filed by them, or if you must do it.  Most of the time, a smash repairer can file the paperwork, which will surely save you a lot of time.  It is also important to find out whether or not you must file the complete claim with your provider before repairs can begin.  If you are not at fault for the accident, ask for very specific information about how to file a claim for the damages.  The other party’s insurance provider may try to get out of paying if you do not file correctly.

How much will it cost?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to ask for the complete and total estimate of the cost of repairs before you get any work done.  Your insurance provider might want to have the estimate before repairs can begin, as well.  When you are given the estimate, make it very clear that you are going to shop around before you make a decision.  A legitimate smash repairer will be happy for you to compare his or her prices to a competitor, because you will surely come back once you have done so.

Insurance Company Refusing to Pay for Rental Car

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Being involved in a vehicle collision is traumatic enough. The terrifying moment of the crash will replay in your head over and over. The sound of metal slamming against metal is something you don’t forget easily. You may even have to live with long-term injuries as a result of the crash. To add insult to injury, the proceeding insurance process is often complex and tiresome.

If the accident wasn’t your fault, the guilty party’s insurance company is liable for all the damages. These damages will include repairs to the car, health costs, and even a replacement rental car. Unfortunately, it’s rarely as straightforward as it seems! Even if the accident was categorically not your fault, the insurance company may fight you. In many cases, they won’t reimburse or pay for the cost of a courtesy rental car. Remember, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible. If you’ve found yourself in that position, here are some of the reasons why they might be holding back the money. More importantly, here’s how to deal with it.

They’re disputing the fault

In many cases, insurers have no option but to assume all blame and damages. However, if there are any small discrepancies, they’ll use it as leverage. They may make a counterclaim based on comparative negligence. In other words, they’ll come back to you and your insurer, claiming that the accident wasn’t 100% their client’s fault. It’s very difficult to prove 100% blame, so there is often a small point of leverage. In their counterclaim, they may say that they’ll accept all the majority of the damages, but won’t pay for the rental car.

Your car is in the repair shop for longer than they deem necessary

One of the most common issues here is the length of repair. When your car is involved in an accident, it must be fixed and treated by professional mechanics. Depending on the amount of damage, it could be anything up to a month in the repair shop. If the guilty party’s insurers believe that the repair job took longer than necessary, they may refuse to pay. Alternatively, they’ll payout the amount they deem is ‘reasonable’. Instead of 30 days rental, they’ll reimburse you for 15. Retrospective payments like this are often difficult to deal with, unless it has been agreed up front.

Contact a lawyer

In instances like this, it’s worth seeking the advice of a lawyer. At this point, they can step in and review the counterclaim by the insurance company. In some cases, all it takes is a lawyer’s name to scare off the insurers, and they’ll quickly pay out.

Speak to the team at Acorn Rentals

The team at Acorn Rentals offer free courtesy cars to everyone who have been involved in an accident. When it’s not your fault, they seek payment from the guilty party’s insurers instead. As you can imagine, they’ve had their fair share of experience dealing with stubborn insurers! They know how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies, and make sure you get that money back.

Don’t let a stubborn insurance company bully you out of your costs and expenses!

Car Accident Rental Car Reimbursement

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The cost and hassle of car accidents are often extortionate and confusing. It’s even more infuriating if that crash wasn’t actually your fault. You’re left with the immediate damages to cover, and no car while it gets repaired. The only choice is to rent a courtesy car, while yours is in the shop. If the crash wasn’t your fault, it’s not fair that you have to pay for a courtesy car. So, you can hire a free rental car, paid for by the guilty party’s insurance company. That courtesy car is all yours until your old car is fixed.

The stress and cost involved in a car accident is already high enough. You may have injuries that require medical attention, and traumatic stress from the incident itself. The last thing you want is the worry and hassle of finding a new courtesy car. A good rental company will take all of those problems out of your hands, by providing you with a free rental car. If it sounds too good to be true, don’t worry, there really aren’t any catches. The costs are covered by the party at fault, and here’s how it all works.

Why can I get a free rental car after a crash?

You can get free access to a courtesy rental car after an accident because you need a quick replacement. You don’t want this crash to impact your everyday life any more than it has to. The reason it’s free is because the accident was not your fault. You didn’t cause the collision, so you don’t deserve to pay any of the repercussions. By law, the offending party must cover all the costs of liability involved with the accident. That will include the cost of repair to your car. It will include any health care costs, and any long-term injury problems. And, in this case, it will cover the cost of hiring a courtesy car while your car is off the road. Simple!

Who pays for it?

The entire deal is paid for by the insurance company of the guilty party. By providing the rental company with the contact details of the insurance company, they’ll chase them for payment. If there is some doubt over the liability, the process isn’t always instantaneous. In this case, you may need to pay the rental price up front. But, don’t worry. Once the liability is settled, the rental company will send a letter of demand to the third party insurer. Once they get the money back, you’ll be instantly reimbursed.

How does it work?

One rental company that prides itself on providing free courtesy cars is Acorn Rentals. As a driver, all you need to do is head to their ‘apply’ page, and make your first application. If the liability has already been quickly settled, the process is easy. You’ll get approval, and they’ll arrange delivery and collection immediately. As we explained before, if there is doubt over liability, it may take a little longer. It’s worth noting that you are also entitled to a free courtesy car if it was your fault and your insurance covers a replacement vehicle. Simply drop the rental company a copy of your insurance policy when you apply.

If the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for the inconvenience.

A Guide to Determining Who is at Fault in a Car Accident

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The first question you’ll ask after a car accident is, “Is everyone alright?”. But the second is almost always “Who’s fault was that?!” Assigning blame is the most important aspect of determining insurance payouts. Remember, the guilty party is responsible for paying the damages and compensation incurred in the crash. It’s a big hit to take, as your insurance policy will shoot up as a result. It’s best to try to assign blame as soon as possible. The longer the investigation goes on, the less credible the evidence. The more we forget about the incident, and the more the facts are bent. Unfortunately, it’s rarely a simple process. No-one goes out intending to cause an accident. It’s never malicious, so it’s difficult to pinpoint blame. Here’s a guide to finding the best solution.

Using comparative negligence

It’s very tricky to assign 100% of the blame so one single party. There are typically any number of factors that contrive to create a collision. One driver might run a red light, causing another driver on the phone to brake hard. A third driver is distracted, and sees the brake lights late, and rear-ends the previous car. There are three different stories here, each with their own small share of the blame. One way to deal with this is split the blame as a percentage of liability.

Assess the evidence gathered at the scene

The evidence and details you gather at the scene of the incident is the most important factor here. First-hand, fresh evidence is the most trusted and credible information regarding blame. As a driver, you should take down every detail possible. Take photos of the scene, including any car damage, skid marks, and other indicators of blame. Draw a sketch of the incident as you saw it. Write down any other factors such as failing to stop at a red light, turning left into oncoming traffic etc.

Witness accounts

Once you’ve gathered your details and evidence, pass them onto the police and insurance companies. However, these are difficult to corroborate without witness accounts. Naturally, the involved drivers will gather evidence favourable to them. It’s the witness accounts that will really decide the outcome. Speak to any eye witnesses, and ask for their names and contact information. Make sure they’re willing to provide a statement for the police and insurance companies. At this point, if you’re certain you’re not to blame, you can hire a free courtesy car from Acorn Rentals. They’ll chase the offender’s insurance company for the bill, at no cost to you.

Admitting fault at the scene

One of the most incriminating factors when determining fault is what you say at the scene of the accident. Try to avoid saying anything pertaining to blame whatsoever. Something as simple as “I didn’t see you” or even “Sorry” can be used to attribute blame. Any doubt will be used against you and your insurance company. Stay silent, and simply gather the evidence, until the police arrive.

When it comes to car accidents, blame is important. It determines who pays out for the damage, which can add up to thousands. Make sure you know what to look for.

Car Accident in a Work Vehicle

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Having access to a company car is often a wonderful thing. You get to drive some of the best new executive models, and put it all on the company card. You get the keys to a slick new BMW or Mercedes. The company pays for your petrol, maintenance, and insurance costs, while you drive comfortably. Of course, it’s rarely that simple! For all these benefits, there are some drawbacks. For instance, who foots the bill if there is an accident involving the company car? Are you, the driver, responsible? Or is the company liable for the entire bill?

There’s no worse feeling that damaging your company car. You scrape it against a bollard, reverse it into another car, or find yourself in a head-on collision. There’s the initial surprise and fear that comes with any car crash. But, then there’s the slow realisation of the repercussions. If you’ve damaged the company car, is it your responsibility to deal with the fallout? Are you liable for the expenses? It’s a confusing topic, and there is no right answer. Let’s take a look in more detail.

How were you using the car?

When you take a company car, there is a certain agreement made by employee and employer. The employer gives you access to use the car, and they understand that you’ll use it for both work and personal use. But, there is a distinction here. If you crash the car while on business, during company hours, they’ll typically pay the bill. If you were acting ‘within the scope of employment, the car is under the responsibility of the company. If, however, you damage or crash the car while on a personal errand, things get a little trickier. In that case, you may liable for the incident personally.

Who was at fault?

Of course, this question only arises if you, the employee are at fault. If you weren’t to blame for the accident, then your company will simple seek damages from the offender’s insurance company. This follows normal procedure following an incident. Remember, the insurance is in the company’s name. So, they will handle the claim, and make sure money is returned. Meanwhile, you can rent a free courtesy car from the likes of Acorn Rentals. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you won’t pay a penny. The offender’s insurance company will cover the costs of rental, as it was their fault. The trouble arises if the accident itself was your fault. If that’s the case, and you were using it for a personal errand, you are liable for the costs.

In the case of reckless behaviour

If you were found to have caused the incident due to reckless behaviour, there may be severe consequences. First of all, your company will ensure that you pay the damages from your personal expenses. Secondly, and more dangerously, they may fire or discipline you in any way they see fit. The reason for this is simple. If you’re in a company car, a van, or a truck, you are representing the business. If you’re speeding or driving dangerously, you are negatively affecting the company. You have also caused criminal damage to your company’s property, the car.

As you can see, this area of car insurance policy is difficult to navigate! If you need more information, ask the representative at your company.

I Had a Car Accident and it Wasn’t My Fault

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The screech of tires and clunk of metal is terrifying. If you’ve been involved in an accident, then you know exactly what we mean! Nothing can prepare you for that awful moment, and your body goes into shock. A car accident can happen at any time. Whether you’re going 70mph on the motorway, or reversing out of your drive, another car can easily drive straight into you. If you’re reading this post, then you’ve probably been involved in a collision just like this. You know the crash wasn’t your fault, and you’re wondering what you can do about it. Well, we’re here to help provide expert advice in case you find yourself in this position.

Gather information to prove it wasn’t your fault

We know that your head will be spinning after a collision. It’s not always easy to act calm and rationally. But, it’s so important that you keep your wits about you. Stay calm, and start recording all the relevant details. Remember, any details you write down at the scene of the accident are more credible than recalling them later on. If possible, take photos of the immediate damage. Take photos of the final positions of the car, and draw a sketch of the accident as it happened. Include any useful information about weather or noticeable reasons for blame (i.e., running a red light).

Get witness statements

If there were any witnesses in the area, ask them for a quick statement to confirm the blame. If they can confirm that the offending party ran a red light, your case will be much stronger. Don’t forget to take their name, address and phone number. If necessary, ask the police to corroborate this statement, and pass the details onto the insurance company.

Ask the police to investigate

No matter how small the collision or accident, the police will always be the first on the scene. They’ll take details of the incident, and begin to put together an investigation. They have more experience with assigning blame, and their decision will carry more weight with an insurance company. Give them all the details they need to come to the right decision, and assist their investigation where possible.

Pick up a courtesy car

If your car was badly damaged during the collision, you’re going to need a short-term replacement. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you’re entitled to a free rental car. You can apply for one at Acorn Rentals, and they won’t charge you for the courtesy car. Instead, they’ll go to the offender’s insurance company to pick up the cheque. Meanwhile, you should notify both your insurer, and the third party’s insurer. Explain the situation, and give them all the necessary details.

Visit a doctor

Finally, make sure that you haven’t incurred any serious injuries by visiting your doctor. If there are any problems, ensure that you obtain a qualified doctor’s note. You can then present this to the insurance company to seek adequate compensation and damages.

Don’t pay for something that wasn’t your fault. Remain calm, follow this advice, and get the compensation you deserve.