Non Fault Accident - A Guide to Motorists Rights

 

Non Fault Car Accidents in Northern Ireland - A Guide to Motorists Rights

If the accident wasn’t your fault, it is important to know your rights.  Tony McKeown, Director of CRASH, answers some of the frequently asked questions motorists have after an accident that wasn’t your fault.

1. Am I entitled to a similar replacement vehicle, while mine is off the road? Yes, if you can prove a need for a replacement vehicle similar to your own, you can hire. The cost of that hire is recoverable from the at fault party or his insurance company. The innocent party is never out of pocket when the hire company provides credit and arranges an indemnity policy.

2. Can I choose which repairer fixes my vehicle? Yes, you may have your vehicle repaired at a body repair shop of your choice. Some Insurance companies operate an “approved repairer scheme”. They may ask you to go to a particular garage but you are free to choose, providing your chosen garage operates to industry standards and the repair costs can be satisfactorily agreed.

3. Do I need to get three different estimates for the repair?No, estimates are not required as the body repair shop of your choice can agree repair rates with a Motor Engineer/ Assessor.

4. Must my vehicle be written off? Your vehicle may be deemed uneconomical to repair, usually if the cost of repairs is more than a certain % of the current value of the vehicle. You may be seriously disadvantaged if your vehicle is not repaired as you may be liable for outstanding hire purchase or leasing commitments. Very often a borderline case may be a repairable proposition if second hand parts are acceptable in the repair.

5. Am I entitled to a replacement vehicle when my vehicle is written off?Yes, if you can prove a need for a replacement vehicle similar to your own, you can hire. The cost of that hire, for a period up to seven days after the write off cheque is received, is recoverable from the at fault party or his insurance company. The innocent party is never out of pocket when the hire company provides credit and arranges an indemnity policy.

6. Do I have to pay my insurance policy excess?No, by claiming off the third party’s insurance, you will not be invoking your own insurance policy and therefore there will be no policy excess.

7. Will my No Claims Bonus be affected?It may temporarily be affected depending on each individual insurer’s policy, although normally this is not the case. On the successful completion of the claim, your no claims bonus is re-instated.

8. Will my out of pocket expenses be recoverable?Yes, any expenses arising as a result of the accident may be recovered. This includes loss of earnings and medical expenses.

9. Can I claim for depreciation costs to my vehicle?Yes, when your car has been involved in an accident, your vehicle may not be worth what it was before it was damaged - no matter how well it has been repaired.

 

 

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