If you have been involved in a car accident, you will either need to get your car repaired or replaced depending on the extent of the damage caused. The options you have available will also depend on (i) who was at fault in the accident, (ii) the value of your vehicle, and (iii) the amount of insurance coverage that is available. As a Fort Lauderdale auto accident law firm, we routinely assist clients with their property damage claims, and we can help you assert your legal rights so that you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.
Car Accident Property Damage Claims: Repair or Replace?
Filing a Property Damage Claim When Your Car Can Be Repaired
Most property damage claims involve claims for vehicle repairs. If your car is capable of being repaired, then the insurance company will conduct its own evaluation to determine the amount of coverage to which you are entitled. Importantly, while the insurance company may refer you to a “preferred” repair shop, you can – and generally should – choose the shop that works on your vehicle.
The reason repair shops are “preferred” is because they have financial relationships with the insurance companies. This means that they are incentivized to keep the insurance companies happy, and this means performing repairs as cheaply as possible. If you go to your own shop or a dealership you trust, you can be more confident that the shop or dealership is performing the work with your best interests in mind.
Filing a Property Damage Claim When Your Car Has Been Totaled
If your car has been totaled, then you will need to get it replaced. Different insurance companies have different definitions of what it means for a car to be “totaled,” but many follow a 75-percent rule. Under this rule, a car will be deemed totaled if the cost to repair it exceeds 75 percent of its fair market value. If your car is totaled, then the insurance company must pay the fair market value of your car plus taxes and relevant expenses. Although, if you purchased new-car replacement coverage, then you may be entitled to purchase a new car of the same make and model as your vehicle that was totaled. Depending on the circumstances involved, you may be entitled to various other forms of compensation and reimbursements as well.
What is the Fair Market Value of Your Car?
In many cases, one of the biggest issues with property damage claims involves determining the fair market value of the vehicle involved. If the insurance company declares your vehicle totaled (or a “total loss”), it will most likely try to establish a low fair market value so that it has to pay less for your new vehicle. This is one of many areas in which our Fort Lauderdale auto accident law firm can help. We can make sure the insurance company treats you fairly, and we can help you obtain maximum coverage for your property damage claim.
Discuss Your Property Damage Claim with an Attorney at our Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Law Firm
To discuss your property damage claim with auto accident attorney Joseph Maus, call us at 855-999-5297 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we win. Let our Fort Lauderdale auto accident law firm help you when you need it most.