Car Accident Property Damage Claims in Bridgeport
Car accidents cause a giant financial impact, not only on your life and your wallet but also on the American economy. Two hundred fifty billion dollars have been paid out for car accident damages, most of which were property damage to the vehicles.
If you were involved in a car accident in Bridgeport and are wondering how to handle your property damage claim, following a few simple steps can get you back on the road in no time.
Important Information to Consider for Bridgeport Property Damages Claims
Before settling a car accident property damage claim, it can be helpful to review the terms of the insurance policy and the benefits available. For example, if the car has been severely damaged in an accident or is otherwise not safe to drive, many insurance policies will provide a rental car until the vehicle is repaired or replaced.
Before speaking with insurance adjusters, it can be helpful to review a few key concepts:
- Total loss – Insurance companies generally consider a vehicle a total loss when the repair costs exceed 75 percent of the value of the car. In these cases, insurance providers do not pay for repairs and instead provide payment needed to have a car replaced.
- Salvage value – If the vehicle is a total loss, the salvage value reflects how much the damaged vehicle is worth in parts. Insured drivers do have the option of keeping a total loss vehicle, but the salvage value will be deducted from the settlement.
- Fair market value – The selling price for the motor vehicle on the open market is referred to as the fair market value (FMV). To determine FMV, insurance companies should consider the price of a comparable vehicle in the local market.
- Diminished value – Claimants may request compensation from their insurance company for the value their car lost in the accident, referred to as diminished value.
Disputing a Property Damage Settlement Offer
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not make a fair settlement offer, it is possible to for Bridgeport drivers to pursue a property damage claim with their own insurance company. Many drivers find that their own company is more likely to treat them fairly, and it can seek reimbursement under the other driver’s policy later.
If the vehicle is considered a total loss, the insurance company should pay the claimant the fair market value of the car. However, claimants and insurance companies do not always agree on a fair value for the vehicle. Insurance companies are required to provide a written statement with the estimated FMV, including any evaluations and adjustments. If the insured does not agree with the adjuster’s offer, the company should base any further offers on the vehicle’s market value in the local area.
What to do if You Were Injured in the Crash
If you were injured in a car accident, getting the medical attention you need is the most important first step. Once you have begun the process of complete medical care, then you can proceed with legal action.
It is usually a safe bet to go ahead and settle any property damage claims, and the insurance company cannot force you to settle your personal injury case at the same time. To be safe, make sure that you carefully review all paperwork sent by the other driver’s insurance company to ensure that you are only settling your property damage claim.
While property damage cases in Bridgeport can usually be handled by yourself, the stakes are much higher when you are also injured. In these cases, it can be helpful to seek advice from a local personal injury attorney. A lawyer could make the process less stressful and more efficient by reviewing documents, formulating your recovery strategy, and fighting for your rights in court. If you were hurt in a crash, call now and schedule a consultation.