A car accident can damage many different parts of a vehicle. Fender benders normally involve some type of damage to the bumper of a vehicle, but often the hood can be damaged, as well.
Can you file a claim for a hood replacement, and if so how can you go about filing this claim? We have asked attorney Alaina Sullivan about what you should do. Here is what she had to say:
How Hood Damage Occurs
Hood damage can occur in many different ways. Perhaps an object from the road or somewhere else has struck the hood and damaged it severely. It could also be damaged by a collision, causing the hood to bend, as well as the frame of the car.
If the frame is damaged in any way, many times the hood will need to be replaced as well due to the nature of the part of the car. The hood directly protects the engine from outside elements so it is very important that it fits the car properly. The fit must be both on the inside and the outside of the car.
All car hoods include both an outer and inner panel, and of which have their own purpose and specifications. Even the slightest bump can throw off the alignment and fit of the panel causing the entire hood to need to be replaced.
The Cost of a New Hood
The actual hood itself can range in price, anywhere from $70 to $500 or more, depending on the car model and make. The material can vary based on how old the car is. Hoods can be either steel, fiberglass or carbon fiber. If the owner of the car wishes to replace the hood with an OEM or original manufacturer part, the cost will be a bit more.
However, for older cars, many owners will seek an aftermarket part to save on costs. However, aftermarket parts, while new, do not have the same strict standards that are required with an OEM part.
Sometimes, the cheapest option can be to find a hood through a local junk yard to then paint the hood to match the vehicle’s actual color. Keep in mind, however, that the price of the hood replacement does not include the cost of labor for installing the part.
What Extra Costs Are Involved?
Not only will you need to purchase a replacement hood, other costs will be included, as well. You will need to make sure that the paint on the hood matches the color of your car. Further, the cost of labor is included in the replacement of the hood, as well.
Meeting Your Deductible
Now that you know the costs of hood replacement, you need to review your insurance policy to see if it is worth filing an insurance claim. You will need to meet your deductible first before an insurance claim kicks in. Most deductibles range from $500 to $1,000.
This amount must be paid first by the policyholder. If the car accident was not your fault and the other driver is responsible, this fact may not matter. However, if you are on the hook for the deductible, make sure that the cost is more than your deductible.
Filing a claim does affect your rates, and filing a claim will not help you in the end, it may not be worth it.
If your car is an older model and you are able to get a part cheaply through a local junkyard, you may not need to file a claim since the deductible amount will likely be close to how much the cost of repair will be.
On the other hand, if your car is a newer model, and you will need to get the replacement hood through an OEM or the dealer where you purchased the car, it is likely you will be well over the amount needed to get to that point. Review your insurance policy and speak with an attorney if you have any questions.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have been in a car accident and believe you need to file a claim for a complete hood replacement but are unsure of how to proceed, it is recommended you contact an attorney to ask any questions you may have.
A licensed personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if you have a claim against the other party’s insurance company. To receive the compensation for your medical bills, property damages, and pain and suffering, you should speak with a personal injury attorney in your area today.