Personal Injury Lawyer
Most of us rely on our cars to get us to and from work each and every day, so having a car damaged in an accident can seriously interrupt our lives. Sometimes the vehicle will be repairable and sometimes it will be deemed a total loss. It can be confusing dealing with insurance companies when trying to get compensated for your property damage, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
Carry comprehensive/collision coverage on your policy
The best way to protect yourself when it comes to your car is to carry comprehensive/collision coverage on your vehicle through your automobile insurance policy. If you are involved in an accident, you can report it to your carrier and have them handle your property damage claim. You may lose a deductible up front, but your insurance company will pursue any at fault party and once it is reimbursed for what it paid, it will refund the deductible to you. This helps you to avoid any issues when dealing with the other party’s insurance company such as noncooperation, denials, or otherwise. If you don’t have comprehensive/collision, or you choose to go through the at-fault insurance company, you will be subject to their rules and policies on property damage claims.
Loss of use of your vehicle
Your life doesn’t stop because your car was damaged in an accident. You will need to get to and from work and you might have sustained injuries and need to see doctors. The at-fault insurance company is responsible for the loss of use of your vehicle so they will typically offer you a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. They are only legally required to provide for the loss of the use of your vehicle for a reasonable period of time, which can differ from company to company. If your vehicle is totaled, they will likely not provide the rental for much longer than it takes to pay for your damages. If the damaged vehicle was something you used for work, you can often claim loss of business income as part of the loss of use of your vehicle.
Diminution of value of the vehicle
If your vehicle is repaired, you can make a claim for diminished value or diminution of value of your vehicle. This claim allows you to recover for the reduction in the market value of your vehicle. As we all know, people looking to buy cars will offer less money for a previously damaged vehicle than a clean vehicle of the same make and model. Depending on the extent of the repairs of the vehicle, the diminution of value claim might be worth thousands of dollars, so it is important to pursue this claim when you can.
If you have questions about a car accident that you were in, speak with a personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in these matters. Thanks to Garret, Walker, Aycoth, & Olson, Attorneys at Law for their insight into this subject.