Getting your car repaired
After the insurance claim is started, the other driver’s insurance company will first perform a liability investigation to determine if they will accept responsibility for the accident. Once that investigation is completed and they accept responsibility, or liability, then the adjuster will either have you take your car into a body shop or have an appraiser come out to wherever the car is (home, body shop or city auto pound) and appraise the damage that your vehicle sustained. The insurance company will either cut you a check for the damage or pay the body shop directly. During this time, they should authorize a rent car for you to drive. Sometimes the entire rental car issue can be tricky at best and oftentimes it is extremely frustrating. Here are my thoughts on the various Rental Car Issues.
What if my car is considered a total loss?
If your vehicle is considered a total loss (the cost to repair it exceeds the value of the car), then you will receive a check for the value of the car, plus sales tax, title and license fees. If you have a loan on the car, that loan must be paid off first, and you will receive the excess money. If your car is determined to be worth less than the outstanding balance on your car loan, then you will be responsible for the difference. If you purchased “gap” insurance with your loan, then that insurance will cover the difference. Oftentimes, there is a dispute as to how to calculate the value of your car. Websites that assist in this valuation process are nadaguides.com (NADA), kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book), AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, and Edmunds.com.
Buying back your “totaled” car
In the usual situation, you end up signing the title over to the insurance company when you receive the check for the total loss. If you want to actually keep your totaled car as well, you can do so, but a deduction will be taken from your check for the scrap value of the vehicle. This deduction varies depending on how much of the car can be salvaged and sold off as parts. If you do keep your car, then the car’s title will now show that it is a salvaged vehicle.
Many of my clients have already handled the property damage issues before they hire me, but if they are still in the process of working through the issues, then I will gladly help them. This part of the legal services I provide and there is no additional fee for this part of the claim. If you would like to talk to me about your car damage issues and your injuries, please do not hesitate to call me at 817-294-1900 or contact me online.