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Can I choose my own repair shop?

Posted on: November 16, 2012
You have the absolute right to decide who will repair your vehicle, provided the repair shop is licensed, should the insurance company choose to repair the car. Many insurance companies will evaluate the cost of repairing your car separately and independently from any repair shop. The insurance company will then work with the repair shop of your choice, to get your car repaired.

How is the fair market value of my car calculated?

Posted on: November 16, 2012
Insurance companies usually determine fair market value by referring to the “Blue Book” or a similar publication. Other sources of information are the local newspaper or the Auto Trader, which may list the for-sale price of cars of the same make, model and years as yours. Occasionally, an expert vehicle appraiser is used to help prove the value of your vehicle. You are entitled to recover the “fair market value” or the “actual cash value” of your vehicle immediately before the accident.

If you owe more money on the loan for the car than the fair market value of the car, you are “upside down” on the loan. Unfortunately, if your vehicle is a total loss, the insurance company will not pay more money to you simply because you are “upside down” with your car loan. They are only obligated to pay the “fair market value” of your car.

Who decides whether my car is repaired or replaced?

Posted on: November 16, 2012
The insurance company normally has the sole option to either repair, replace or reimburse you for your car’s actual cash value (ACV). The amount your vehicle would have sold for on the date of the accident is the actual cash value and is usually a question of cost efficiency. When the vehicle is economically impractical to repair, your insurance company will elect to replace your vehicle or reimburse you for the ACV. If the cost to repair the vehicle equals or exceeds the vehicle’s ACV on the date of the loss, the vehicle is considered economically impractical to repair, or a total loss. In many instances an insurance company will total a vehicle if the appraised damages equal 80% of the vehicle’s ACV because often, once repairs are begun, additional damages or “hidden damages” are found which would render the vehicle a total loss by definition.

What other damages can I expect the adjuster to pay?

Posted on: November 16, 2012
You had to pay sales tax, a tag fee and registration fees in addition to the price of the vehicle. You are entitled to be reimbursed for the prorated amount of these costs that are unused. The insurance company should reimburse you for the tag transfer fees and in some cases a prorated amount of sales tax on the actual cash value of the car at the time of the accident.

Who is responsible for towing and storage fees?

Posted on: November 16, 2012
The insurance company for the driver who caused the accident normally will pay the reasonable towing and storage costs of your car. While determining whether your car is a “total loss,” they will continue to pay the storage costs. They will move the car from the repair shop to a wrecking yard or a free storage area if the insurance company declares the car a “total loss.” Before your car is moved, you will be called. You will have to pay the storage costs from the day of your refusal forward if you refuse to allow the insurance company to move your car. You can pay to have it towed to your home if you want to keep the vehicle.

How do I prove what damage was caused by the accident?

Posted on: November 16, 2012
The first step if you have been involved in an automobile accident is to report the claim to the insurance company of the driver who caused the wreck. It is important to remember there are essential measures that must be taken next to promptly preserve evidence, and the accident must be investigated thoroughly and injuries evaluated.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of an automobile accident, call Silverstein & Silverstein now at 305-373-9091. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay. You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Below are some commonly asked questions.

The insurance company will sometimes claim that some damage to your car existed before the accident. Similarly, accidents often generate mechanical malfunctions. Determining if a mechanical problem was caused by the wreck or by normal wear and tear can be difficult. Therefore, it is important that you prove the connection between the auto accident and the damage you are claiming. Mechanics and body repair persons can help you determine the age of body damage or the cause of a mechanical failure, and they can help you convince the insurance company that the auto accident caused the damage.

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