If you sustain vehicle damage in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you will likely be concerned with who will be financially responsible for repairing the damage. The decisions you make regarding vehicle repairs will likely come down to factors such as:
- The extent of the damage versus your car’s value
- Who was at fault for the accident
- The types of insurance coverage both parties have
The value of your car is especially important to consider. Keep in mind that insurance providers are only going to pay damages up to the value of the car. If it looks like the costs of repairs will exceed the value of the car, the insurer will likely declare your car a “total loss” (totaled). The most common step then is that they will offer to pay you the fair market value for your vehicle and take possession of the car.
The amount of money the vehicle is worth (and thus the value of the claim) is based on the value of the vehicle at the time of the accident. The insurance company that has to bear the financial responsibility for the damage done to your vehicle will only pay up to policy limits.
It is always a good idea to work with an attorney when going through the claims process to stand the best chance of maximizing your return in compensation. Remember that an offer is not always final--there is room for negotiation.
For more information about the factors that will affect the value of your accident claim, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.