When you are involved in a car accident and your vehicle is damaged, your insurance company or the insurance company of the other party may be responsible for paying for necessary repairs. However, this is not always as simple as it first seems. Keep reading to learn about some of the complications that can come up and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you need a free legal consultation.
It is Possible for a Body Shop to Waive Your Deductible
One common misconception is that body shops are required by law to charge your deductible. This is not always the case. They may agree to waive your deductible. This is legal on one condition – the body shop cannot raise the estimate to make up for the lack of the deductible. They must take that loss themselves – not pass it on to the insurance company.
What Happens When Your Car Is Totaled
In the event that the cost of repairing your vehicle would be more than the value of the vehicle, the insurance company considers it a total loss – otherwise known as totaled. Each insurer has its own policy for deciding when a car is totaled. However, it is generally true that if the cost of repair is more than 3/4ths of the cost of the value of the car, plus salvage value, then it is not worth it.
If the insurer considers your vehicle a total loss after an accident, you can keep the vehicle if you would like. However, whatever the salvage is deemed to be will be deducted from your final settlement. As a result, you are essentially buying the vehicle from the insurer at the value of salvage. You would then need to re-register the vehicle with the DMV, and there may be costs associated with doing so.
You May Not Agree with the Decision of the Insurer to Call Your Vehicle a Total Loss
It may be that your insurer says your vehicle can be repaired but you believe it would be better declared a total loss. Likewise, it may be that you want the vehicle repaired when the insurer has declared it a total loss.
Unless there is financing on the vehicle, you have the right to keep the car, and the insurer must pay the lesser of the cash value of the vehicle before the damage minus the salvage value, or the insurer’s estimate of the cost for repairs. You would then be free to do whatever you would like with the vehicle.
The next step is to contact a personal injury attorney. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have the experience to help you find the right way forward. We have won more than $2 billion for our clients and we look forward to you joining them. Call us at 800-333-0000 now.