Automobile Damage FAQ
Can I control whether my car is repaired or replaced?
That depends on which of the options cost your insurance company less money. The company will need to declare your vehicle a total loss before the replacement process takes place, if it costs less to replace it. This involves the company buying your car for market value (see next question).
Some owners wish to retain their vehicle, for whatever reason. If you wish to do so, you will need to purchase it back from the insurance company for its salvage value. The insurance adjuster will then deduct the salvage value from the settlement and the car becomes your property again.
If the insurance company chooses to repair the vehicle, contacting a lawyer is still an important measure to ensure your protection. Reason being; there is no guarantee that the post-repair vehicle condition will not be compromised. Contact Mr. Lewis’ office to discuss your options.
You are entitled to your vehicle’s actual cash value or fair market value as it was immediately before the accident. Consult the N.A.D.A. book, to determine this figure. In some cases, a vehicle appraiser is used to help prove the value of your vehicle.
If you owe more money to the finance company your vehicle than what it is worth, the insurance company is only obligated to pay you the fair market value of the car.
Yes. You have the right to decide who will handle the repair of your vehicle. However, the cost of the repair is not always determined by the facility of your choosing. Most insurance companies require more than one bid on the repairs of the vehicle.
What kind of parts will be used in the repair?
You have the right to original manufacturer parts used in the repair. If your car was not new when the accident occurred, be prepared for the possibility that reconditioned parts will be used
It can be difficult to determine exactly what damage was caused by the accident itself. The insurance company may indeed claim that various damages existed prior to the accident, if the vehicle indicates substantial wear and tear. Collision repair personnel can help to prove the age of body damage or the cause of a mechanical failure. To convince the insurance company that the auto accident caused the damage you are claiming, you will need to request the mechanic’s documentation.
The insurance company for the driver, who caused the accident, will pay the reasonable towing and storage costs (if necessary) of your car, assuming there is no dispute regarding the cause of the accident,.
If the insurance company declares the car a total loss, they will have the car moved to a a free storage area or wrecking yard. If for some reason you do not allow the insurance company to move your car, towing and storage costs become your responsibility.
You are entitled reimbursement for the prorated amount of the unused tags and registration. The insurance company should reimburse you for tag transfer fees as well. In some cases, a prorated amount of sales tax on the actual cash value of the car at the time of the accident.
If there is a dispute over who caused the accident or you were at fault, you must pay for the rental out of pocket. However, you may seek coverage under your own insurance policy. Many insurance companies do not provide rental coverage for their own clients. If the other driver is at fault we will demand that his/her insurance company provide a rental car of similar quality, within the confines of what is available for rent. You may need to pay out of pocket and await reimbursement from the drivers insurance company.
Your own insurance policy should cover you while driving the rental car, but you should call your insurance agent to be sure. The other driver’s insurance company is not required to pay for additional insurance if you choose to purchase it from the car rental company.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Auto accident or you have any concerns about the matters above, call T. Chris Lewis Law Firm, PLLC Today. The initial consultation is free of charge. If we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! The sooner we get started the better! You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed immediately before the statute of limitations expires.