Who Pays for My Vehicle Damage After an Accident in New York?

New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, but those laws apply only to injuries in a car accident and not to claims for vehicle damage. Within certain limits, reimbursement is the responsibility of the driver who caused the accident and their insurance.

In many cases, a vehicle owner will need the assistance of New York City car accident lawyers to collect the full amount of their claim. For more than twenty years, we have helped individuals to recover the funds they need to repair their cars. We make it our business to pursue every source of recovery to get our clients back on the road with no repair expenditures on their part.

How Do Insurance Policy Limits Affect Collision Damage Reimbursement?

New York car owners are required to carry at least $10,000 in collision damage insurance coverage. Further, an insurer in New York is liable for repair costs only up to a car’s book value. When the damage exceeds the limits of a negligent driver’s coverage or a vehicle’s book value is less than its repair costs, an individual will need to look to other reimbursement sources. This often requires filing a lawsuit directly against the negligent party and to pursue recovery from their insurance policy.

Will A Car Owner’s Insurance Pay for Vehicle Damage if the Owner Caused the Accident?

A car owner’s insurance will cover repairs, less any deductibles, if the owner is in a single car accident, or is otherwise responsible for damage to a vehicle. However, New York insurance companies will inevitably raise a car owner’s insurance premiums. In addition, they may terminate insurance altogether if the owner makes several damage claims.  Individuals who want to maintain lower insurance premiums or are concerned about losing their insurance will benefit from retaining a personal injury attorney in New York.   

Will GAP Coverage Pay for Vehicle Damage?

A car owner might carry guaranteed asset protection (“GAP”) coverage for reimbursement, particularly when the owner has financed the car. The book value of it depreciates quickly. An insurance company might declare it to be a total loss if it has suffered extensive damage in an accident. If the book value is less than the balance of the car loan, the owner will be liable to the lender for the difference. GAP coverage reimburses that difference.

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How Do Insurance Companies Determine Vehicle Damage Repair Costs?

Insurance companies use formulas that are intended to provide an objective estimate of repair costs. Those estimates, however, might be based on inexpensive or pre-owned replacement parts. This can reduce the value and reliability of the car after repairs are complete. Insurers might also require their clients to use lower-cost body shops that do not provide reliable services. An experienced lawyer can help a car owner receive a fair, objective, and reasonable repair estimate from their insurer.

Will Comparative Negligence Reduce Reimbursements for Vehicle Damage Repairs?

Under New York law, the reimbursement that can be recovered from a negligent party for both injuries and vehicle damage will be reduced in proportion to the victim’s liability. If, for example, a car owner suffers $10,000 in damage to their vehicle but is deemed to be 20% responsible for the accident, they will only be able to recover $8,000. In all cases, comparative negligence is based on the specific facts of an accident. Again, an experienced lawyer can frame the facts of an accident to minimize the impact this might have to recover the full amount necessary. 

Call Douglas and London for Assistance in Recovering Maximum Reimbursements for Accidental Vehicle Damage

Please see our website or call Douglas and London directly to speak with our New York City personal injury lawyers. We can help you recover compensation to pay for repairs in Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and anywhere in New York. We will challenge the insurance companies for you and recover the largest available compensation to repair your car.


  1. www.nolo.com: Car Accident Vehicle Damage: Your Auto Repair Options. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/car-accident-vehicle-damage-your-auto-repair-options.html
  2. www.dfs.ny.gov: Automobile Insurance. https://www.dfs.ny.gov/faqs/consumer_faqs/automobile