If your vehicle gets damaged in a car accident in Arizona, you may not know where to take it for repairs. According to Arizona law, a motor vehicle owner has the right to take his or her vehicle to any repair facility. An insurance provider does not have the right to force you to take your vehicle to a certain auto shop or mechanic. Learn how to deal with motor vehicle repairs if it is damaged in an Arizona car crash.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 20-468, a person in this state has “the right to choose any repair facility for the repair of a motor vehicle loss,” subject to the rights of the insurance company to receive a notice of the loss or property damage consistent with the terms of the insurance policy. This means you have the legal right to take your motor vehicle to the shop, mechanic or dealership of your choice after a car accident that causes property damage.
In other words, you don’t need to go to a repair shop that your insurance company recommends. An insurance company is not legally allowed to require you to use a certain repair facility. While the insurer may try to pressure you to take your vehicle to a certain place, you are not obligated to use their recommendation. Shop around and choose the facility that you feel most comfortable with for your vehicle repairs, regardless of what an insurer recommends.
If a car insurance company does make a recommendation as to the auto repair facility for your vehicle, the insurer is obligated to inform you of your right to go to a shop of your choice at the time of giving you the recommendation. In addition, if you seek repairs at a facility where the insurance company owns an interest, the insurance claims adjuster for your motor vehicle shall not be employed by the repair facility or have any direct authority over the facility’s recommendations or decisions regarding the repair of your vehicle.
After a car accident, take photos while still at the scene. Be sure to capture images of the damage to your property. Indicate all damaged vehicle parts, including any broken glass and whether the airbags were deployed. Determine if the vehicle can still be driven or if it is damaged enough to need to be towed to an auto shop. Then, choose your repair facility. You can choose one convenient to your location, as long as they are licensed and their work is guaranteed for 90 days. In this case, the insurance company will stand by the shop’s guarantee.
Arizona is a fault or tort-based car insurance state. Under this rule, the person or party at fault pays for all of the victim’s damages, including medical bills for any injuries and necessary repair costs. All motor vehicle drivers in Arizona are required to maintain at least $15,000 in property damage liability insurance to pay for the property repairs of others involved in the crash. If your vehicle repairs or the replacement of a totaled vehicle costs more than $15,000, your own insurer may provide supplemental coverage.
If you were not at fault for the car accident, you will need to prove that the other driver caused the crash to qualify for property damage coverage from his or her policy. You or your car accident lawyer in Scottsdale will need to establish that the defendant is more likely to be at fault for the crash than not. This will qualify you for benefits from the other driver’s insurance policy, including the full pre-crash value of a totaled vehicle, the price of vehicle repairs, the cost of getting your car towed from the scene of the accident, the price of a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop and coverage for any aftermarket customizations. If you need further assistance getting your car repaired after an Arizona crash, your attorney can help.