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What about My Crumpled Car?

Car repair should be straight forward. A reputable insurance company will want to get your car repair done fairly and quickly. However, many insurance companies are wanting to save money at your expense. At a minimum you should read this page before you settle your car crash claim and think about whether any of the following applies to you.

Your car is evidence. If you are going to need that evidence in your case, then don’t let the insurance company take that evidence and destroy it. For example, if your car was in some way defective you may have a products liability claim. If you give your car to the insurance company, you give up the evidence of the defective product. If you do that then you throw away your defective product claim.  The same goes for the issues of the amount of impact or who was at fault.

Pictures sometimes are with a thousand words. Get pictures of your car, their car, and the crash scene. If this crash is a big deal, then so are the pictures.

You can have your car repaired at the shop of your choice. If the insurance company tells you otherwise, then they are lying.

Your car repair bills or insurance payment for a totaled vehicle may be handled by your insurance company or the other driver’s company. This depends upon the other driver’s liability insurance and available insurance you have, such as collision coverage.

Repair or Replace? This is a frequent question, and sometimes a close call. Don’t be too sentimental about these things; make a smart decision. Have the car completely checked out before you start repairs.  The insurance company has the option to repair or replace your car. Sometimes you can influence their decision. Don’t try to repair a car that should be totaled. Don’t sign off on a repair job until you are sure the shop has gotten everything fixed.

You do not have to repair a repairable car.  You can get paid for the value of repairs to your car, keep the money, and not repair your car. Your option.

What was Your Car Worth? Your car was worth its market value, just prior to the crash. It doesn’t matter what you paid for your car. If you paid $10,000 for a car that had a market value of $3,000 just prior to a total loss crash, the measure of your loss is the $3,000, the market value.

If you paid $3000 for a car with a market value of $10,000 just prior to a total loss crash, the measure of your loss is $10,000, the market value.

Salvage Value. A totaled car may still have a salvage value. If you decide to keep a totaled car, the insurance company would owe you market value minus salvage value.

Loss of Use. This is the time between the crash and when the insurance company makes you a reasonable offer for your vehicle. That may be the equivalent of your rental car charges. If you did not rent a car, you still have lost the usage of your vehicle for that time period. The insurance company owes you for that.

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