1. Get an estimate
If your car can be repaired then you can take it to a repair shop of your choice for an estimate. Even if the insurance company insists you use their repair shop, you have the right to get a second opinion from an independent repair shop.
2. Get the fair market value for your car
If the insurance company determines that the vehicle is totaled (costs more to repair than the value of the car) you are entitled to the fair market value for the vehicle. An estimate should be done for a comparable vehicle meaning a vehicle of the same age, same condition, same mileage and same options as your vehicle.
3. Claim the loss
You are entitled to claim the loss of your ability to use the vehicle from the time of the accident until the vehicle is repaired–whether or not you rent a substitute automobile.
4. Don’t let your insurance company use your property damage claim as leverage
Insurance companies are not permitted to use property damage claims as leverage. You rely upon your vehicle. Being without it because of an accident is an extreme hardship. The insurance company has a duty to resolve your property damage claim within a short period of time unless there is a dispute regarding who is at fault for the accident.
If you have suffered both property damage and an injury as a result of an auto accident, the insurance company is forbidden to delay the settlement of your property damage claim in order to influence you to resolve your injury claim quickly or cheaply. If you are confronted with an insurance company that is attempting to use your property damage claim as leverage, contact us immediately.
5. Get an attorney to recover all of your damages
Insurance companies are becoming more aggressive with property damage claims. In the past, most people were able to resolve their property damage claims with the insurance company on their own.
However, with insurance companies becoming increasingly difficult it’s frequently necessary to obtain an attorney to assist with recovering all of the damages you have suffered. This is especially true if you suffered injuries as well as property damage in the accident. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, contact us right away.