When a car accident occurs, in addition to any personal injury damages, do not overlook the property damage to your vehicle. The insurance company must pay you for the damage to your vehicle.
Repair Cost vs. Fair Market Value
After an accident, you should get paid for either the cost to repair your vehicle or the fair market value of the car. Every car is repairable. However, insurance companies will use a ratio to determine whether the car should be repaired versus whether they will “total” the car. The term “total a car” is an insurance term. The law entitles you to be fully compensated for your vehicle, whether you seek the repair value or the fair market value. But, if you go to court, the judge or jury is likely to only allow you to get compensated for the fair market value if cost of the repair cost is more than the value of the car.
What is the fair market value of my car?
To determine the value of your vehicle, you can uses sites such as NADA to find the fair market value. You can also search for used cars in your area that are of the same make and model of your vehicle. Remember the fair market value is simply the value that someone is willing to pay you. If all of the similar vehicles in your area are selling for $5,000, then the fair market value is probably somewhere around $5,000.
What is the cost to repair my car?
You do not have to accept the estimate the insurance company gave you for repair. For instance, if you have a Landrover and you would like to take your vehicle to a certified Landrover dealer for repair, then you are entitled to do that. If you dispute the amount of repair given to you by the insurance company, then try to get an estimate from a few other mechanics. Having more than one opinion will give you a good idea of the cost of repair.
If your car is repaired, then you entitled to be compensated for the diminished value. This is the loss in value that the car experienced by being repaired. In other words, if you try to sell the vehicle after the repairs are completed, then you are not going to get the same amount of money as if the car had not been repaired.
Call the Scott Law Firm now to receive a free consultation from a property damage attorney.