I'm selling a riverfront home for an older couple, and the closing is scheduled for Monday at 1 pm. The daughter calls me from NY on Sunday at 5 pm and they are freaking out because there isn't an attorney present to protect the family's interests, and that's how it's always done in New York. Mr. Riccardi returns my call that night, moves his schedule around, and meets us at the title company an ...

Car Accident Property Damage Claims

Car Damaged? Follow These Tips to Get it Fixed Quickly

You have just been involved in a car accident. While you have been fortunate enough to walk away from the collision without injury, your car is now wrecked. If your vehicle has been damaged or totaled in an accident, the following tips can help you deal with your insurance company and get your car fixed and back on the road as quickly as possible.

Obtain a Damage Estimate

The first step toward getting your vehicle fixed is to promptly get an estimate of the damage. In many cases, your insurance company will have an adjuster travel to your vehicle and assess the cost of repairing your car. If your car is still in a drivable condition, you may be asked to drive your car to the nearest estimating facility.

In addition to your insurance adjuster’s estimate, it is important you receive a few additional estimates from third-party body shops and compare them. If the independent estimates are all substantially higher than the insurance estimate, chances are your insurance company’s estimate was poor and did not account for the full amount of damage. If your insurance company refuses to budge, it may be wise to contact an insurance attorney.

Review the Terms of Your Policy

Your insurance policy should contain detailed information regarding what formula your insurance company will use to determine how much compensation you will receive if your car is deemed a total loss, whether or not you are entitled to a rental car, and the extent of your coverage. It is imperative you carefully examine your policy to ensure your insurance adheres to their responsibilities.

Choose the Right Repair Shop

Some insurance companies write provisions into their policies that give them the right to choose where your car will be repaired, allowing them to choose the lowest-cost option. If your policy allows you to choose a repair shop, be sure to choose a body shop with a strong reputation for ethics and service. Furthermore, if repair technicians from a trusted body shop discover further damage to the vehicle during the process of fixing it, they will contact the insurance company on your behalf and ensure your vehicle is fixed correctly.

Watch Out for Used Parts

Some repair facilities may choose to fix your vehicle with parts that are used or made by parties other than your vehicle’s manufacturer to save money – especially if the body shop was chosen by your insurance. It is important you insist that the repair facility use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to ensure your repairs are safe and long-lasting. If your policy states that your insurance may fix your vehicle with parts of “like kind and quality,” be sure to request a written warranty of any aftermarket parts used in your vehicle.

Dealing with a Repair Dispute?

In the event that you should encounter a dispute over your property damage claim, you may have grounds to pursue legal action against your insurance provider for acting in bad faith. If you believe you have been a victim of insurance bad faith, head over to the Florida Bar’s website for more information on how an insurance bad faith lawyer can help you can seek justice.
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