It’s your automobile, so you can decide who fixes it after an accident.
You have the right to decide whether you want your car fixed after an accident and where you want the repairs done. Your insurance carrier may try to persuade you to use their supplier, but they are not allowed by law to demand that you fix your car in a certain way or with a particular company. Look around and pick the business you feel most comfortable leaving your vehicle with.
You have the right to request that the repair work be done at a different shop, even if the estimate was provided by one particular shop. Before a check is written, advise your insurance provider of the store of your choice. In addition, speak with an attorney before you get your car repaired. Sometimes, your car accident lawyer may want you to wait to repair your vehicle, especially if they’re still investigating your accident or gathering evidence.
Understanding the Arizona Choice of Repair Facility Law
Phoenix drivers who have been in an accident and have to deal with auto repair are entitled to a fair, reasonable estimation of all of their vehicle’s damages. This includes tires, rims, and other minor parts, as well as major damages made to your car by the insurance company.
If you are involved in any kind of motor vehicle accident in the state of Arizona, you have repair rights.
Arizona law 20-468 is also known as the motor vehicle loss; policyholder choice of repair facility law. It states that drivers in Arizona have a right to choose any repair facility for the repair of a motor vehicle loss. If an insurer provides information about a repair facility, the insurer must also inform individuals of this right simultaneously.
In other words, you do NOT have to get your car repaired at the body shop the insurance company recommends. This law was put in place largely due to the work done by the CARE organizations years back.
What is CARE?
The national nonprofit group, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), aims to ensure that consumers receive convenient, cost-effective, and safe auto repair services nationwide. A national coalition of aftermarket businesses created CARE in 1991 to oppose an anti-competition bill heading to Congress.
NAPA, Midas, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Bridgestone-Firestone, and thousands of independent small companies, “do it yourself” retailers and distributors are just a few of the members. About 20,058 car repair shops and 14,762 retail sites selling auto parts and accessories make up the CARE membership.
CARE fought for the Vehicle Owner’s Bill of Rights in Congress so that individuals could choose where to get their cars repaired.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Phoenix?
Gathering evidence after a Phoenix car accident is essential in recovering the money you need to pay for property damage, injuries, and lost wages. When it comes to property damage, it is necessary to document the damage clearly. Take photos of the damage to your car, including all damaged parts, broken glass, dents, and whether the airbags deployed.
You must then determine if your vehicle is useable or needs to get towed to repair an auto shop. Do this as soon as possible, but only give the auto repair shop the green light to make repairs after first speaking to your Phoenix car accident attorney.
Choosing an Auto Repair Shop in Phoenix
You have a right to decide where you get your car fixed, but how do you choose the right repair shop?
When you’ve been in an accident, choosing the right auto repair shop is essential to ensuring your car is fixed appropriately. You should research auto repair shops in your area and read through customer reviews online to get an idea of their reputation. You can also ask your Phoenix car accident lawyer if they have an auto repair shop to recommend.
Consider any specializations that might be important for your repairs, such as experience with certain types or brands of cars or certifications from nationally recognized auto bodies like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Request an estimate before committing to a particular shop and ask if they guarantee their work.
These guidelines can help ease your mind and ensure you get the best service possible when choosing an auto repair shop after getting into an accident.
Who Pays to Fix Your Vehicle?
Arizona is a fault-based state. This means that the person responsible for the accident pays for all the victim’s damages, including repair costs.
Arizona law requires that all drivers maintain a minimum of $15,000 in property damage liability insurance to help pay for property damage after causing an accident. If your car repairs exceed their insurance policy limits, you may need to turn to your insurance company to cover the rest or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you did not cause your accident, you must prove liability before an insurer will pay property damage claims. To do this, you need the help of an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney. Your attorney will need to build your case and establish fault clearly so you can collect the money you need and deserve.
When you use a repair shop not affiliated with the insurance company, you might find that the insurer disputes the repair costs. When this occurs, having a lawyer on your side is invaluable. Your attorney can work with the repair shop to explain to insurers why a certain repair is necessary. Having someone fighting for you during this process can make all the difference.
Contact Our Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers Today
The personal injury legal team at Hutzler Law has recovered millions for Phoenix accident victims and their families. We know how to get you the help you need after a serious accident, and we fight aggressively for your future.
We offer free consultations, and you will only pay legal fees if we recover compensation for you. Contact us today to receive your free car accident consultation by calling (602) 730-4530 or clicking the button below.
4323 N 12th St, Suite 101,
Phoenix, AZ 85014