What should I do after my vehicle sustains damage in an accident?
As a resident of Champaign, Illinois, there are a few steps the Illinois Department of Insurance recommends you take after a loss, which also refers to the damage your vehicle sustained in a vehicular accident. Below we have provided what these steps are:
- Report all your losses directly to your insurance agent or company if you don’t have an assigned agent.
- Report your loss to police if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or another party was involved in an accident. A police report serves as a helpful document for your insurance carrier and they could deny your claim without it.
To obtain a copy of your police report, visit the Champaign Police Department located at:
82 E. University Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
- Be sure your insurance company sees the damage done to your vehicle before having it repaired.
- Protect your vehicle from further damage.
- Cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation.
- Review your insurance policy that explains your duties and other responsibilities required of you.
What if you were not at-fault for the accident?
The state of Illinois follows what we call at-fault insurance laws which means the party responsible for causing the accident is the party whose insurance carrier is billed for the damages. So, if you didn’t cause the accident and it is known that the other party is at-fault, you would file a third-party claim. A third-party claim is a claim filed through someone else’s insurance carrier other than your own.
But, if you believe fault is being placed on the wrong party, don’t hesitate to get your free consultation scheduled with one of our accident lawyers located in Champaign, IL to learn what to do to ensure the blame isn’t placed on you.
Can my insurance company repair my vehicle with used parts?
In most cases yes, however, it depends on the condition the vehicle was in prior to the accident. According to Illinois Department of Insurance, a company only has to return your vehicle back to the condition it was in before the damage occurred. So, if your vehicle was purchased back in 2010, it is likely the repair parts used aren’t going to be brand new. While the insurance carrier is going to try and replace your vehicle with the same parts it had, if they cannot find the parts that match the year your vehicle was made, they will have to use parts that are newer, and more expensive. This extra amount is known as “betterment.”
Will my insurance company cover the “betterment” cost?
Your insurance company is not required to pay for the “betterment.” To help you better understand the concept, an example is provided below:
- “If your vehicle’s muffler is five years old, your insurance company would have to replace it with a five-year-old muffler. If a five-year-old muffler can’t be found, the repair shop could use a new muffler, but you’d have to pay the difference.”
There are many different things that come up in the insurance claims process and our Champaign, IL accident attorneys are here to help you understand what all of these things are. If you would like to be connected with a legal representative now, contact us today.