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
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
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
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.