Q Can the insurance company make me use aftermarket parts or used parts in the repair of my car?
You have an absolute right to decide how your car is repaired and what parts to use in connection with the repair. It is your decision and your decision alone. The insurance company cannot dictate to you what kind of parts whether new, used or aftermarket parts used for the repair of your vehicle.
When a car has been damaged in a motor vehicle collision as the result of the negligence of a third party, you can recover from that negligent party or their insurance company for the damage to your car.
In North Carolina, the measure of damage for the loss is the difference between the value of that vehicle immediately before the collision and its value immediately after the collision. That is, what the vehicle is worth sitting in the road after the collision and before any repairs.
The cost of repair is one of the factors to be considered when determining the difference between the before and after value.
If a vehicle can be economically repaired, you can insist that the vehicle be completely repaired and properly repaired. You can also insist that the car be repaired with the use of new parts rather than used or aftermarket parts.
An insurance company only has to pay the difference in between the before and after value
In addition to the repair costs, the fact that the car is now a wrecked car, even after its bee repaired, must be taken into account.
The car-buying public will not pay the same amount for a car which has been wrecked as it would for an identical car which has never been wrecked. This is true even if the wrecked car has been perfectly repaired and there is no visible evidence that the car had ever been in a wreck. Reasonable minds can differ of course as to the amount necessary to compensate for the depreciation factor (the fact that the car is now a wrecked car).
The issue of whether used or aftermarket parts are installed in connection with the repair as opposed to new parts can be considered when determining what the value of the car is after the repair. An argument can be made that the car that is repaired with aftermarket parts or used parts is not worth as much as an equal car which has been repaired with the use of new parts.
If the parties cannot agree on the amount of the loss, and if the parties end up in court, the finder of fact, either a judge or a jury, will decide the dollar amount necessary to reimburse the owner of the car for the difference between the value of the car immediately before the collision and its value after the collision.