A car accident – an unpleasant experience, after which you also have so much to think about. This article is not only about the repair of the vehicle after an accident. Here you can find out all you need to know when communicating and settling claims with the insurance company. Among other things, you will receive valuable tips regarding the possibilities of reimbursement. Following the article, you will find a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions, including links to further pages with the relevant specialist content.
What to look out for after an accident
Actually, every car driver knows what to do if you have been involved in a car accident. But then the case actually occurs and often there is a certain perplexity. I must call the police in any case? When do I have to inform my insurance company?? What do I have to pay attention to as the injured party? What do I have to do as the person who caused the accident?? What about an automotive expert?? Do I need a? Does the insurance company need a detailed accident report??
These and similar questions arise after an accident. In the following article, you will learn more about your rights and obligations in the event of an accident and what you should look out for in the event of a claim.
When the police are required
The police only take a record in the case of personal injury and major property damage. If you are unsure whether your accident damage already falls under ‘major property damage’ or if there are discrepancies with the other party involved in the accident, call the police in case of doubt. The officers will then decide on the spot whether or not to take a report of the accident.
The contact details of those involved in the accident are important
In any case, you should make sure that you receive the personal data of all parties involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, please also ask for their contact details.
Photos and notes for the accident report
Make notes on how the accident happened before you forget any details. These records later belong in the accident report for the insurance company. also record the license plate number of the second vehicle involved in the accident. Take photos of the vehicle, preferably including the immediate surroundings and from all angles, so that you can best document the course of the accident in this way. This is particularly important if the question of fault is not clearly established.
Seven-day deadline for filing a claim with the insurance company
If you are the injured party, contact the opposing insurance company
If you are the injured party, you will need the contact details of the insurance company that caused the accident. It is best to report the accident to the insurance company without delay. The time limit for reporting a claim is usually seven days. To be on the safe side, find out more or report the accident to the responsible insurance carrier right away. The sooner you report the accident, the sooner the insurance company will respond. This report also includes the aforementioned accident report with a description of how the accident occurred. If you want to be on the safe side, report the accident to your insurance company as well.
As the person who caused the accident, you should contact your car insurance company
If you are the person who caused the accident, you must inform your car insurance company in detail. Again, the sooner the better. In addition, the seven-day deadline also applies in this case.
An independent expert to determine the amount of the damage
If you are the injured party, the opposing insurance company will demand that the amount of the damage be determined by an expert. The insurance company will then be happy to send an assessor. However, please attach great importance to the independence of the expert, so that you do not run the risk of being overcharged by the insurance company. Especially if the damage amounts to more than 800 euros.
The costs for the expert will be covered by the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. If you caused the accident, your insurance company has to pay for the expert. If the damage is minor and does not exceed 800 euros, you can also ask a garage of your choice to prepare an estimate for the repair, including photos.
The insurance company of the person who caused the accident will cover the costs of repairing the accident
If the other party caused the damage, their insurance will cover the cost of repairing your vehicle.
Cost absorption for the test drive after the repair has been completed
However, it happens from time to time that insurance carriers do not cover the costs for the test drive carried out after a repair. The justification in such a case is that test drives are part of the overhead costs, because a test drive is required after every repair. Workshops argue that a test drive is not necessarily necessary after every repair and that this must therefore be shown separately on the invoice. A test drive is not required after a simple dent in the sheet metal has been removed. Since the legal basis is not clear, it may well be that you, as the injured party, have to bear the costs for the test drive after the repair.
What is meant by accident repair??
Accident repairs include all measures necessary to restore a vehicle to its condition prior to the accident. The body of a vehicle is either self-supporting, non-self-supporting or a skeleton body. The different types of bodywork have an impact on the repair procedure.
The non-self-supporting construction is nowadays only found on off-road vehicles and trucks. A repair is possible at a relatively low cost. The repair of a self-supporting body, on the other hand, is much more expensive. A skeleton body consists of closed hollow profiles with nodal points and stability transmitters. In the case of an accident repair, the entire basic framework must therefore be taken into account.
If load-bearing parts of the body are cracked or otherwise severely damaged, these parts must always be replaced with new ones. In the case of sheet metal damage, on the other hand, an attempt is often made to restore the shape of the sheet metal using appropriate tools, such as a straightening hammer and a hand block. If a part is too badly damaged, however, replacement is necessary in this case as well.
From when you can have your car repaired
It is advisable not to have the repairs carried out until an expert has inspected the car or a corresponding estimate has been provided by a workshop and the insurance carrier has officially signaled that it will cover the costs. If you want to be absolutely sure, have the opposing insurance company issue a declaration of acceptance of repair costs before the repair is carried out.
When an economic total loss exists
If the costs for the repair exceed the replacement value of the car, it is an economic total loss. In this case, you will receive from the insurance company a sum that only corresponds to the replacement cost of your car. This amount is calculated from the replacement value (value of the car immediately before the accident) minus the residual value (value of the vehicle immediately after the accident).
What a technical total loss looks like
This also applies to a technical total loss. This is the case if the damage is so extensive that repair is no longer possible from a technical point of view.
When a fictitious non-genuine total loss is referred to
The following three conditions must be met for a fictitious non-genuine total loss to exist: the repair costs are less than the replacement value of the car. The owner still does not want to have his vehicle repaired. Instead, he would prefer to settle on the basis of the total loss (replacement value minus residual value).
For this type of settlement, the sum of the repair costs and the replacement cost must be higher than the replacement cost (replacement value minus residual value). The insurer can choose the alternative with the lowest cost.
When you definitely want to have your vehicle repaired
If the repair costs exceed the replacement value of your car by a maximum of 30 %, you can still have it repaired on the basis of the expert opinion. The costs are then also covered by the opposing insurance carrier. However, you must then prove that you will continue to drive the vehicle for at least six months afterwards.
Free choice of repair shop
Which repair shop you ultimately choose is entirely up to you. You therefore decide whether your vehicle is repaired in a brand-name workshop, in an independent workshop or at a gas station.
However, there is a lot to be said for having your car repaired at the garage that has already drawn up the estimate.
Accident damage paid out – possibility of fictitious settlement
Fictitious settlement without repair
It is also up to you whether your car will be repaired at all. If you decide not to repair the car, you can settle the damage on the basis of the expert’s report or the cost estimate. In this so-called fictitious settlement, you will receive reimbursement of the net repair costs from the opposing insurance company.
Fictitious settlement with repair
The same applies if you have your car repaired by an independent garage or a service station rather than a brand-name garage. If your car is less than three years old and has a checkbook, you will also receive the hourly rates of a contract workshop in the case of a fictitious settlement.
The amount of the fictitious settlement is limited
However, the amount of such a fictitious settlement is limited. The upper limit is set at the replacement cost (replacement value minus the residual value) of the vehicle. This means that paying out the accident damage is actually only worthwhile if the damage to the car is minor.
If you want to repair your car yourself, you should consider the following:
Now there are many mechatronics engineers and hobby mechanics who want to repair their vehicles themselves. It should be noted that courts have ruled that an accident victim may not, in principle, enrich himself or herself from an accident. For this reason, there is the already mentioned upper limit for a fictitious settlement. In addition, legal proceedings may be instituted if you suspect that a car is being repaired illegally.
Payment of the damage sum from your own insurance only possible to a limited extent
If it is a case of liability damage, the insurance company will usually pay. In the event of a collision damage claim, you should check your insurance documents for the exact agreements.
If you would like your insurance company to pay out the amount of the damage, you should bear in mind that your own insurance company usually does not accept an external assessor, but insists on having an in-house one. The question then arises as to whether a payout really makes sense, since the in-house expert generally tends to estimate a lower sum.
Reduction in value – additional compensation from the opposing insurance company
If your car has suffered considerable damage, so that its resale value has dropped significantly, you may also have the chance to receive a so-called value reduction. The prerequisites for this are that the expert has determined this reduction in value, your vehicle is less than five years old and has a maximum value of 100 %.000 km driven.
Claim for loss of use
Under certain circumstances, they may also be entitled to compensation for loss of use. This is the case if you are dependent on your car, but it is no longer roadworthy after the accident and you have not used a rental car. The amount of the loss of use depends on the vehicle type. In addition, you must have your car repaired in any case.
Entitlement to a rental car
You are entitled to a replacement car for the time your car is not ready for use. Secure this claim through a cost assumption declaration from the opposing insurance company. To this end, you should obtain three rental offers, which you can submit to the insurance company if necessary.
Additional incidental costs
If additional costs are incurred, such as towing costs or parking fees, you can claim these from the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident. If a lawyer is required in the course of determining the question of fault and settling the costs, the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident must ultimately pay the costs of the lawyer.
Payment dates of the insurance policies and assignment of security
Collision and partial collision damage is usually paid by the responsible insurance company within two to four weeks after the amount of damage has been determined. To ensure that you do not have to pay in advance to have your vehicle repaired, some garages offer the option of an assignment of security.
This means that the repair shop handles all communication and claims processing with the insurance companies for you. In this way, you do not have to pay for repairs that will only be reimbursed by the insurance carrier at a later date. Liability insurers usually pay four to six weeks after receipt of the claim.
Third party liability and comprehensive insurance
In contrast to motor vehicle liability insurance, comprehensive insurance is not required by law. But it offers additional protection.
Partial cover insurance with deductible
In the case of partial casco insurance, you as the vehicle owner agree to pay a deductible in the event of damage. Depending on the agreement, this usually ranges between 100 and 500 euros. Only if the repair costs exceed this amount, the insurance will take over the costs. Theft, glass breakage, damage caused by game and fire are covered by the partially comprehensive insurance. In most cases, the current value of the vehicle is reimbursed.
Comprehensive insurance with decreasing no-claims bonus
If a fully comprehensive insurance policy is in place, the insurance carrier will also cover the vehicle owner’s self-inflicted damages. Within the first six months after initial registration, compensation is usually provided in the amount of the new price; from then on, the current value is reimbursed.
The no-claims bonus only applies to fully comprehensive insurance. For a new car, it is therefore advisable to have fully comprehensive cover for the first three to five years, depending on the loss in value during these years. However, since partial coverage only replaces the current value, it is not recommended for very old cars, because their value becomes too low over time.
No-claims classes (SF)
As an insured person, you are assigned to a no-claims class in your vehicle insurance policy. This classification is based on the number of years in which you were accident-free. The longer you drive without an accident, the higher your no-claims class and the higher your no-claims discount. The upgrading of the no-claims class is virtually a reward to the policyholder for another accident-free year.
Downgrading in the event of an accident
In the event of an accident, your insurance company will downgrade you again by one or more levels. The grading depends, among other things, on the type of accident and the question of fault, whereby the individual insurance carriers can use individual assessment standards as a basis.
No-claims bonus in the event of a short interruption of the contract
If, for whatever reason, you do not need motor insurance for six months, your no-claims class remains unchanged and is carried over into the subsequent insurance. If the interruption lasts up to 12 months, the previous no-claims class is also taken over. However, the subsequent upgrading to other classes is delayed by the period of the interruption.
Classification of the no-claims class after a contract interruption of up to seven years
In the case of an interruption of up to seven years, the various insurance carriers have made different arrangements. These range from taking over the old no-claims class according to the 1-year rule to annual downgrading of the class. It is therefore advisable to find out exactly what the problem is before taking out a new insurance policy.
Duration of the subsequent liability after termination of the insurance relationship
By the way, did you know that there is a so-called subsequent liability after termination of a liability insurance policy? This is usually one month. if necessary, check your insurance documents to be on the safe side. If, for whatever reason, costs are incurred after you have cancelled your vehicle insurance and deregistered your vehicle at the registration office within four weeks, which would normally be covered by your vehicle insurance, the insurance will still cover the costs within this one-month period. However, the reimbursement of costs is then within the range of the legally stipulated minimum amounts of coverage.
What is a car insurance policy??
A car insurance policy is an additional benefit of a car insurance policy. Automobile clubs also offer this service. In the event of accidents, breakdowns and theft, this cover provides additional protection. This includes the assumption of costs for a towing service, a return transport to the hospital, for an overnight stay or for a rented car. You can also take advantage of the services in other european countries. if you simply add the cover letter to your car insurance, it will usually not cost you much more.
The benefits of a motor insurance policy
- Roadside assistance: in the event of a breakdown, up to 100 euros will be covered for on-site repairs.
- Towing service: the cost of transport to the nearest garage will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 200 euros.
- Bergen: if your vehicle ends up in a ditch, your car will be recovered.
- Onward or home journey: you have the option of continuing your trip by rental car, by train or by plane (if the one-way distance is more than 1200 kilometers by train). The same applies to the return journey to your vehicle, which has been repaired in the meantime. The cost of a rental car is usually covered up to 350 euros. As soon as the own car is ready to drive, this claim expires.
- Vehicle return transport: if it is not possible to repair your vehicle on site within three working days, it will be transported to a workshop of your choice at your place of residence. In case of total loss this option does not exist.
- Shipping of spare parts abroad: if the necessary spare part is not available abroad, the insurance will arrange for the procurement and shipment of the required spare part.
- replacement driver: if an illness lasts longer than three days and makes it impossible for you to continue driving and no co-driver with a valid driver’s license is present, a substitute driver will be provided for you.
- storage costs: if your car has to be stored, the insurance will cover the costs for a maximum of two weeks.
- Accommodation costs: the costs for overnight stays will be covered for up to three nights if your car is repaired. Reimbursement is normally 60 euros per person per night.
- Vehicle theft: in the event of vehicle theft, you will be reimbursed for the cost of a rental car in an amount of up to 350 euros. If your stolen vehicle is found, it will be transported back to your home.
- Vehicle scrapping or vehicle customs clearance: if your car has to be either scrapped or customs cleared abroad after an accident or theft, these costs are covered by the protection policy.
- Medical repatriation: if you are seriously ill or seriously injured in an accident during your vacation, you can also be transported by air to a hospital in your home town in an emergency. The type of return transport and the time must always be medically ordered and be reasonable and justifiable.
- Dispatch of spare keys: should your car keys be stolen or locked in the car, the insurance will ensure that you receive a replacement key. the costs for the shipping will be covered, but not for the new key itself. The same applies if the car key has been broken.
Jurs – the collision specialist: accident repair and full service provider
We at jurs – the collision specialist (link to start page, title: we at jurs – the collision specialist) are not only absolute professionals in the field of accident repair, we are also a full service provider. Our service offer includes the complete communication and cost processing with the insurance companies. In addition, we offer you a rent-free replacement car in case of a hull or partial hull claim. Furthermore, our services include a pick-up, delivery and towing service within a radius of 100 km.
In our state of the art body shop we can perform all the necessary work for accident repairs. Read more here. If you have any further questions on this subject or if your vehicle is about to be repaired, please call us at 0451 – 89 22 18. Or use the contact form below and we will get back to you within 24 hours. We are happy to advise you and also provide you with a non-binding cost estimate.
You may also want to read on for more general answers on the subject of accidents and repairs. In the following we have therefore listed the answers to the most frequently asked questions for you.
FAQ: questions and answers – what to do after a car accident?
Car accident – what to do?
What to do after an accident and what you should consider, you can find out here: financescout24.en/knowledge/guide/car-accident-what-to-do.
Car accident – what will happen to me afterwards??
How an accident settlement proceeds and what you can expect, read on this page: financescout24.en/knowledge/guide/car-accident-what-to-do.
Car accident – which number should you call and when??
In an emergency, it is best to call 110 or 112. When to call which number makes the most sense, you can see here: morgenpost.De/web-wissen/…/110-112-welcher-notruf-ist-der-richtige
Car accident – by when the accident must be reported to the insurance company?
the insurance company must receive the claim within seven days of the accident. please also read: fine-info.De/accident-insurance-report.
car accident – who reports the car accident?
If you are the injured party, report the accident to the other party’s insurance company and, to be on the safe side, to your own insurance company as well. If you are the person who caused the accident, you must report the accident to your insurance carrier. You can find further information here: bussgeld-info.en/accident-insurance-report.
Car accident – the other party is at fault. Which insurance company should I contact??
In this case, you must contact the other party’s insurance company with your claim. You should also inform your own insurance company. You can find more information about this topic under the following link: bussgeld-info.en/accident-insurance-report.
Car accident – when do I have to call the police??
If people have been injured, you should always call the police. The police do not record minor metal damage. If there are discrepancies in the question of guilt, then call the police. You can find detailed information under: anwaltauskunft.De/magazine/mobilitaet/auto/traffic-accident-must-you-always-call-the-police read more.
Car accident – when should i go to the doctor?
After a car accident, it is best to see a doctor on the same day. If the police are on the scene, make a report if you have a complaint. You can find out more about this question at: onmeda.De/illnesses/whiplash injury
Car accident – when should i go to the hospital??
Unless you are taken directly from the scene of the accident to a hospital by ambulance, it is your decision whether to see a doctor or go to a hospital if you have complaints. Further information can be found here: onmeda.en/diseases/whiplash-trauma.
Car accident – which doctor should i see??
After a car accident you have the freedom to choose your doctor. You can find out why it is best to visit this service on the day of the accident here: catalogue of fines.org/neck-pain-accident.
Car accident – who pays for medical expenses?
If you would like to know more about the rules governing the assumption of medical costs after a car accident, then read: traffic accident.Org/pain compensation.
Car accident – who pays the costs for the ambulance?
Which insurance company pays the costs for the ambulance under which circumstances, you can find out here: fine catalogs.De/kfz-expertise.
Car accident – what injuries can occur?
Detailed information about symptoms and symptoms after a car accident can be found on this page: your symptoms.en/illnesses/injury-from-car-accident.
Car accident – when does the insurance company get in touch??
Since the accident report must be received by the insurance company within seven days, but the detailed accident report only after 14 days, it is possible that the opposing insurance company will only contact you after this 14-day period. You can find out more about this topic and the obligations of the insurance company on this page: traffic accident.Org/damage settlement.
Car accident – when does the insurance pay??
Comprehensive and partially comprehensive insurance claims are usually paid by the responsible insurance company within two to four weeks after the amount of the claim has been determined. Liability insurers usually pay four to six weeks after receiving the claim. further details can be found here: catalogue of traffic fines.Org/what-insurance-pays-after-accident.
Car accident – how much does the insurance pay??
How much an insurance company will pay for the damage caused to a vehicle depends on several factors. You can find out what these are in this article: fines info.De/kfz-expertise.
Car accident – when does the insurance not pay?
If the question of fault has not been clearly clarified, the insurance company will not pay. Read more about this topic under: catalogue of traffic fines.Org/auto-accident-insurance-pays-not.
Car accident – when is a lawyer necessary??
If the question of guilt is clarified, a lawyer is usually not necessary. under which circumstances it is nevertheless sensible to call in a lawyer, you can see on the following page: catalogue of traffic fines.Org/accident lawyer.
Car accident – who pays the lawyer’s fees??
As the injured party in a car accident, you generally have the right to an attorney. Why the opposing insurance carrier must reimburse the costs for the lawyer even if it does not have to pay 100% for the accident damage is explained on this page: focus.en/auto/guide/law/car-insurance-must-replace-attorney-costs-after-a-car-accident.
Car accident – what am I entitled to?
What claims for damages you have after an accident and what conditions must be met, read under: kanzlei-erven.De/damage-after-a-car-accident as well as under: fine calculator.Org/accident/claim-for-pain-compensation.
Car accident – what costs will I have to pay??
which costs an accident entails and who has to pay for which costs under which conditions, you can find out on this page: catalogue of fines.org/accident costs.
Car accident – what costs can i claim for?
What kind of costs (for the expert, the rental car or for the lawyer) you can claim, when and under which circumstances, you can see in this article: kanzlei-erven.en/damage-after-a-car-accident.
Car accident – what compensation is available?
you can read more about your right to compensation after a car accident caused by someone else in this article: financescout24.en/knowledge/guide/compensation.
car accident – when is there pain and suffering compensation?
anyone who has suffered damage is entitled to compensation under german law. In the case of personal injuries, this is the pain and suffering compensation. You can find more information on how to calculate the amount of compensation for pain and suffering at:fine calculator.Org/accident/claim-for-pain-compensation.
Car accident – who pays for the pain and suffering?
The insurance carrier of the party liable for the accident pays the compensation for pain and suffering. You can find out how the amount of the pain and suffering fine is calculated on the following page: fine calculator.Org/accident/claim-for-pain.
car accident – how to apply for pain and suffering compensation?
How you can claim pain and suffering compensation from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident and what you should pay attention to, you can read here: fine-info.De/kfz-appraisal.
Car accident – when are the claims for damages time-barred??
According to § 195 of the German Civil Code (BGB), the statute of limitations for claims for damages and compensation for pain and suffering is three years. For further information on this topic, please refer to: bussgeld-info.De/verjaehrung-sch
Car accident – what rights do i have as an injured party?
You can find out more about your rights as an injured party on the following page: financescout24.en/knowledge/guide/car-accident-what-to-do
Car accident – when is which insurance company liable??
information on which insurance company is liable under which conditions can be found on the website: unfallhelden.en/blog/compensation-for-traffic-accidents-who-pays.
Car accident – when is a surveyor required?
When an expert makes sense and when it is necessary – you can find more information on this topic under the following link: accident expert opinion-in.De/frequent-questions.
car accident – who determines the expert?
Who is allowed to decide about the choice of the expert, you can find out under this link: fine catalogs.De/kfz-expertise.
Car accident – who pays the assessor?
Why the insurance of the person who caused the accident pays for the costs of the expert, you can find out here: fine info.en/who-pays-expert-car-accident.
Car accident – who pays for the estimate?
under which conditions the insurance company of the person who caused the accident will cover the costs for the preparation of an estimate, you can read here: fine catalogs.De/kfz-expertise.
Car accident – when to take the vehicle to the workshop?
In order to obtain a report or estimate for the other party’s insurance company, your car must be taken to a garage. The sooner you visit a garage, the sooner the claim will be settled. More details here: accident report-in.De/frequent-questions.
Car accident – when will the car be repaired?
If you are the injured party, do not have your car repaired until you have confirmation from the other party’s insurance company that the costs will be covered. please also read: kanzlei-erven.De/damage-after-a-car-accident.
Car accident – how long will we pay you for a rental car?
After an accident for which you were not at fault, you are entitled to a rental car under certain conditions. For more information on how long you can expect to be paid, go to: anwaltauskunft.en/magazine/mobility/car/no-fault-car-accident-right-on-rental-car.
Car accident – who pays for the firefighting operation?
The person responsible for the accident is liable for the costs of any fire department intervention. Further explanations on this subject are given on the following page: haftpflichtversicherung-testberichte.De/liability-insurance-firefighters-costs.
Car accident – who pays the towing costs??
The decisive factor for the assumption of towing costs is the clarification of the question of guilt. Further information on this subject can be found on the following page: catalogue of traffic fines.Org/loss-of-earnings-after-accident.
car accident – who pays for the loss of working hours?
Who pays for the loss of earnings of the injured party and to what extent, you will find here: catalogue of fines.org/loss-of-earnings-after-accident.
Car accident – who is liable: driver or owner?
under which conditions the owner is liable after a car accident, even if he was not driving himself, you can read here: liability insurance test reports.De/liability insurance-firefighting costs. At the same time, this article informs you about the conditions under which the driver can be held liable for the accident damage, even if he is not the owner of the vehicle.
car accident – how long can i be on sick leave?