How to get your car repaired after a wreck in North Carolina.
THE FINE PRINT: This information is opinion and general legal information about the laws in North Carolina. It is not intended to provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
In North Carolina, if your vehicle is not totaled, you may recover however much money is required to cover the repair costs when you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
You should know that it’s not okay for the adjuster to require you to get more than two estimates, and you can get those from any legitimate repair shop or garage that you want. The only exception to this rule is if the adjuster is willing to pay your expenses to get more than two estimates.
You should also know that if you want the adjuster to give you an estimate, you have the right to have the adjuster or his representative come and inspect the damage to your vehicle, and you have the right to receive a copy of the repair estimate.
If you want to see your rights in more detail, you can Google the regulation which is 11 NCAC 04.419.
Some adjusters may tell you that you can’t get the money for the damage unless you get your vehicle repaired.
This is not true.
You are not required to repair your vehicle. Instead, you are entitled to proper compensation for the damage to your vehicle. If you want to ride around with your vehicle dinged up or sell it without fixing it, that is your right.
An issue that often comes up is repairing your vehicle with new versus used parts. Watch the video above to find out more about what you are entitled to here.
Another issue is that even after your vehicle has been repaired, it may not be worth as much as it was before the wreck. This issue is covered in the video in the property damage section called “Depreciation.”
If you and the adjuster aren’t able to reach an agreement, the adjuster may use the Bully’s Retort: “So, sue me.” If that happens, talk to a lawyer. This could be something that you can handle yourself in Small Claims Court, or you may need an attorney, but you should talk to an attorney before you make your decision.
So to sum this up, you are entitled to recover the repair costs on your vehicle, regardless of whether you actually get the vehicle repaired or not. And you can either go with the adjuster’s estimate or you can present two estimates to the adjuster for payment.
Joe Adams is a personal injury attorney based in Asheville, North Carolina, who takes personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the state of North Carolina. He has been fighting insurance companies and big corporations for more than 25 years.
Copyright - Joe G. Adams