Although we don’t normally help you negotiate an offer on your damaged car with an insurance company, if you are a client of ours that was injured in a personal injury accident, we will help you get a fair offer for your vehicle at no cost.
Understand that insurance companies are in business to make money; therefore, they may not offer you what you deserve when it comes time to settle with you about your car. It is very important not to accept the offer if you feel it is unfair.
Many people involved in a car crash don’t really know what their car is worth or what would constitute a fair offer. Just because an insurance adjuster gives you the amount that their appraiser comes up with, doesn’t mean the appraiser is right. My recommendation is that you NOT accept the offer until you have had that offer reviewed by a professional mechanic, your own insurance company’s appraiser or by your legal representative. Once you sign a release for a claim agreement, you won’t be able to do anything about it.
How we determine the value of your vehicle
When we negotiate a settlement for your vehicle, we determine its actual value. We work with experts, including vehicle appraisers, mechanics we trust, and other experts to account for not only the cost of damage to your car, but the value of depreciation as a result of the crash. This is based on your car’s year, make, model and pre-accident condition and value.
In addition to receiving a just payment to get your vehicle repaired or its full current market value in the event that it is totaled, you are also entitled to “loss of use”. This means that the defendant insurance company must pay for a rental car that is comparable to the one damaged for a specified period of time.
You are entitled to additional repairs on your vehicle if found later
What if you discover more damage to your car, after repairs are made? If you see that there is more damage to your car after repairs, we call the insurance company and let them know. They then give the okay to return it to the car repair shop, which will then assess the damage and get approval from the insurance company to make the additional repairs. This usually does not present a problem.
Being upside-down on your vehicle
What happens when your car is totaled, and you still owe money on the car but the resale value doesn’t cover what’s owed? This is called being upside-down on your payments. There is really nothing you can do about this unless you have “gap” insurance as part of your car insurance coverage. Gap insurance will pay the difference between what you are paid for your totaled car and what you still owe on it. I highly recommend that you invest in this type of coverage.
Reaching a property damage settlement
It is very uncommon for parties involved in a property damage claim not to reach an agreement. There may be some back and forth, but usually the facts speak for themselves and a settlement can be reached.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault and you need some guidance in dealing with an insurance company about your car and other property damage, give us a call and we can discuss both your personal injury and property damage claims.
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The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
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