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I just bought a car, upon leaving the car dealership, I got

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I just bought a car, upon leaving the car dealership, I got into an accident, my newly bought car was damaged & towed. The police report clearly states fault is NOT with me. I only have liability insurance on my other car because they are old cars, but
planning to have full coverage on my newly bought car. Is my insurance company obligated to fix my newly bought car or is the dealership liable for fixing the car since they know that I haven't added it to my insurance. Can I stop the payment (check) on the
money I put down as down payment? what are my option?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
If fault it not with you, and the other party in the accident has insurance, you should be able to have your vehicle repaired under the other party's insurance policy.
If they don't have insurance, or don't have enough coverage to repair the damage, you can sue to recover the difference from them.
If the amount is $7,500 or less you can do this in small claims court. If it's more, and you're not willing to accept $7,500 maximum, you can file in limited civil court.
It's less expensive than unlimited civil, with some benefits for smaller cases, but you're limited to $25,000 in claims.
In either case if you prove the other party was at fault, you'll win a judgment, which you then have to collect. Even if the other party doesn't have much in terms of liquid assets or property, you can still get paid-- you can attach wages, put a lien on their home if they have one, etc...
Re the dealer:
If you financed the car, the lender typically needs to see proof of insurance in order to approve the loan.
The dealer, who wants to make a sale, will usually allow you to take possession of the car in a legal sale and then provide proof of insurance coverage to the lender once you're home.
Depending on how the contract of sale and the lending agreement is worded it's possible you'd have some recourse against the dealer if they should have asked for proof of coverage to meet the lender requirements, but didn't. It's a long shot, but may be worth looking at.
Regardless, you most likely do not have the right to stop payment on the check you wrote for the down payment, and doing so could open you up to additional penalties.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How about the dealer having insurance on the car, so they should be liable for fixing it correct. Also my insurance will most likely use their own body shop to fix the car, this will void my warranty on the car I just bought. Do I have the legal right to tell my insurance to use the dealerships preferred body shop? The driver at fault left the scene, most likely because she doesn't have insurance so asking her to pay for damage will probably a long shot. Can I return the car to the dealership or am I stuck with it even though it's not my fault that this happened?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The lender made copies of my insurance card but didn't asked what my coverage are? Is there a way that I can cancel my contract with them?, I know about the 2 days grace period that I can return the car but then the accident happened so I am not sure about that any longer. I want my car fix asap & I prefer the dealership to do the fixing. The police officer mentioned to me that the dealership can replace my car if I am not satisfied with the development of fixing the car. Is this true?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I already filed an insurance claim to my insurance company as soon as I reach home, can my insurance company decline to pay for damages because I haven't added the car yet on my insurance (remember I just bought the car & on my way home the accident occurred, about 2 miles from the dealership) & since I only have liability insurance on my other old cars.
Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
You've raised several additional questions/issues:
1. Would the dealer have insurance on the car and be liable to fix it?
Dealers have insurance on the cars on their lot that covers those vehicles while the cars are owned by them. Without checking the dealership policy directly it's hard to know for sure, but it's likely that the dealer insurance coverage expires automatically when the dealer no longer owns the vehicle. It wouldn't hurt to check with the dealership, just in case.
2. Under most insurance policies you have the right to select which body shop does the work.
3. If you are able to locate the driver of the other vehicle, even if they don't have insurance, it's still possible to go after them for damages if you win a case against them. Once you have a judgment entered in a case against them you can garnish wages, go after assets like bank accounts, and even go after personal property. If you can't do this yourself there are collections firms and attorneys who collect judgments on contingency. It may take a while and you won't collect everything you're owed after the legal fees, but it won't cost anything up front and it's one option to recoup some of the costs.
4. California doesn't have a two-day grace period on buying a new car. The "cooling off" period is available for used vehicles under $40,000 and must be offered as an option which you can purchase when you sign your contract.
That option would not, however, allow you to return a damaged car.
5. The lender can require you to have specific coverage but wouldn't generally be responsible to you if that coverage wasn't adequate to meet their requirements after they made a copy of your insurance card.
6. If the dealership is unable to fix the car, your insurance company would be legally obligated to replace it. The insurance company can also chose to replace the car when it would be more costly for them to have it repaired than replaced.
7. The insurance company is unfortunately within their rights to deny coverage. When you purchase a new vehicle, your old insurance policy automatically transfers to your new car, typically for 14-30 days.
But because you no longer had comprehensive or collision insurance on your older vehicle, the only coverage that would have transferred to your new car would have been your liability coverage.
If you'd been at fault, your liability insurance would have covered you for personal injury or property damage to another person.
I know this is not the answer you were looking for, and I'm sorry that you've been put in this position by the other driver.
My recommendation would be to pursue a judgment against the other driver. Even if it's just in small claims court you can still sue for up to $7,500 and then go after them to repay you.
It may take a while, but if they have a job and you can locate them, it may be worthwhile to pursue it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it advisable to add the car to my insurance policy now even if it's still not repaired. Or shall I wait until the car is fix. Will my current insurance company has the right to decline it if I want it added now knowing the car needs repair. What's the best course of action.
Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
You should definitely add the vehicle to your current policy if possible.
While you can't do that retroactively, you'll want to make sure that anything that might happen to the vehicle going forward is covered.
I don't know what your insurer's policy would be regarding insuring the car while it's being repaired. That's something that you should speak with them about directly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean by your statement in # ***** the dealership... Does this mean the dealership will fix my damaged car? Are they obligated to do that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also have uninsured benefits on my insurance policy, so if the other parties don't have insurance, then my insurance is liable to fix my car, Is this correct?
Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
Re #6 above: I was not implying that the dealership has an obligation to fix your car, only that if you took the car there to have it repaired and they couldn't fix it properly (and no one else could either) then the insurance company would be obligated to replace it.
That assumes the insurance company agreed to pay for the repair in the first place.
Re uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage:
There are two types of UI/UM coverage, Bodily Injury (BI) and Property Damage (BD).
If you have PD coverage your insurance company may be obligated to pay for the damage to your car up to the limit of your policy.
I say "may" because PD coverage doesn't apply to hit and run accidents where you are unable to identify the license plate of the other vehicle.
I wasn't sure from your description of the facts whether you were able to identify the other vehicle/driver before they took off.
If you were, and you have UI/UM PD insurance, then your insurance company should be obligated to pay the claim.
Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
Just checking in to see if I've answered your question completely. If so, could you please review/rate my answer so I can get credit for it?
If not, please don't hesitate to let me know what additional information I can provide to complete your answer.
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Category: Legal
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