Every year, 6 million people get in wrecks in the United States.
While most of the time there are no injuries in these accidents, the vehicles involved are always damaged. Many people wonder how long after a car accident they have to repair their vehicle. That is a question that doesn’t have a single answer.
There are many accidents where there is no serious damage done to the vehicle. In that case, some people wonder if they should even get their car repaired. They may have received an insurance check that they would rather use for other purposes.
Let’s take a look at what exactly all this means and what you have to do.
Do I Even Have to Get My Car Fixed?
If you are paying on a car loan the answer to this question is yes.
Until you pay off the loan, you do not own the vehicle. The bank or loan agency that you are paying owns the vehicle.
Banks don’t want the collateral for your loan to remain damaged. It loses a ton of value this way.
In these cases, the insurance money will go straight to the body shop or mechanic in question. Repairs like this can be done in as little as a week. This is even counting the time it takes an insurance adjuster to inspect your vehicle.
If you own your vehicle outright then the answer is no. There is nothing forcing you to get your vehicle repaired in this case.
You can take the insurance money and do what you wish with it. However, you should be aware that having a damaged vehicle will dramatically lower the value.
How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to Get My Vehicle Fixed?
That entirely depends on what kind of insurance you have.
Many major insurers will allow you up to three years before making a claim on a minor accident. If this is the case, and you own your vehicle, you can wait until it is convenient for you.
If you do not own your vehicle it depends largely on your bank. They may require that you act on your car repair immediately. If this is the case, make sure to use a body shop or mechanic that you can trust and has a good track record.
Nobody Wants to Be in a Wreck
It goes without saying that car wrecks are not fun. In addition to the damage to your vehicle, there is a very real chance that you will be injured. If this happens to you, the best thing you can do is contact your insurance agency at once.
While it is often lawful to wait, there is little reason to. How long after a car accident you wait to get your vehicle repaired will have a direct impact on your life. Getting your car repaired as fast as possible so that you can get back to your life is the best way to move forward.
Most insurance companies will even provide you with a rental in case the repairs on your vehicle take longer than a day or two. In this way, you can continue your normal life and not have to miss any work.
Take a look at other articles on our website to get help answering other pressing questions you may have!