Car Accident Property Damage Claims in Clarksburg
Getting into a car accident is an overwhelming experience, and many victims are concerned about how to have their vehicles repaired or replaced. Fortunately, car accident property damage claims in Clarksburg can usually be resolved on your own. By learning a few key concepts and being prepared, you can handle talks with insurance adjusters and get back on the road.
Important Factors to Consider for Property Damage Claims
After a car accident in Clarksburg, there are a few things to consider when assessing the property damage claim. One of the most important factors is the fair market value (FMV) of the vehicle before the accident occurred. If the damage to the car is so extensive that repair costs exceed the 75 percent of the pre-accident cash value, the vehicle may be a total loss. In this case, the insurance company should pay the FMV of the car. Even total loss vehicles usually have some value, however, since their parts can be stripped and sold. This is known as the salvage value. If the claimant wants to keep a total loss vehicle, they are allowed to do so. However, the salvage value will be deducted from the FMV.
Diminished value is another important factor. A diminished value claim allows vehicle owners to request money from their insurance company to compensate them for the difference between the car’s value prior to the accident and the current value after repairs. If a car is being repaired, claimants also have the option of seeking a rental car through their insurance company. Simply ask the adjuster what the policy is, determine who has to pay for the rental, schedule the rental and repairs, and keep the rental car until the repairs have been completed.
Negotiating with Insurance Adjusters
While many property damage claims can be resolved without a hassle, disagreements do sometimes arise, especially over the value of a total loss vehicle. In these cases, the insurance companies are required to provide claimants with full documentation explaining how they arrived at the value. This includes a list of any deductions and evaluations of the vehicle’s condition. If the claimant and the insurance company cannot agree, the company should use the value of similar vehicles on the local market to determine the FMV.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not offer a fair payment, many people choose to make a claim under their own policy. In this case, the claimant’s own insurer can seek reimbursement from the other driver’s. Many people find that their own insurance company treats them more fairly, and this can often help resolve a car accident property damage claim more quickly.
What to do if You Are Injured in a Crash
If you were able to walk away from your Clarksburg car accident without injuries, you should be able to settle a property damage claim on your own. Even if you were injured, it is usually safe to settle the property damage portion of your case. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is legally barred from forcing you to settle both your injury and property damage claims together. However, it is still important to review all documents carefully.
If you were seriously hurt in a crash, consider asking an experienced attorney for help. Pursuing a fair personal injury claim on your own is a notoriously difficult process, so many people choose to work with a legal professional. They could guide you through the entire process, from reviewing documents to arguing your case in court. Personal injury claims are subject to strict deadlines, however, so you should call as soon as possible.