A car accident can cause a lot of damage. Once you have recovered from your injuries, you may be wondering how you will get your car repaired. If your car is totaled, you may be worried if you still owe money on the car, as automobiles depreciate rapidly.
Will you be compensated for your damaged vehicle? If so, how much will the insurance company pay?
The law varies from state to state. As an example, 12 states have a no-fault insurance law.
New York is one of them. This means that the insurance company will compensate its own policyholders for the cost of minor injuries, regardless of whether or not the person was at fault in the accident.
No matter which state you live in, your insurance company will only pay up to the policy limits. For example, if your policy covers only $10,000 in property damage and your vehicle was worth $15,000, the insurer will only pay up to $10,000. You are responsible for the remaining $5,000. Therefore, it is important to have a level of coverage that fits your need so you won’t go broke in the event of an accident.
If you were at fault for the accident, or if the other driver was at fault but did not have enough coverage to pay for your damages, your collision coverage (if you have it) will kick in. If your car was parked at the time of the accident, your comprehensive insurance will apply.
In any case, the adjuster will come and assess the value of your car’s damages. The adjuster will use values from the Kelley Blue Book or the National Association of Automobile Dealers to come up with the estimated repair costs as well as the depreciated value of your vehicle.
Make sure you understand your rights in this regard. You do not have to agree to the adjuster’s figures. You are allowed to get your own estimate. Also, you can use the repair shop of your choice and have the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts placed on your vehicle instead of generic parts.
If the repairs cost more than the vehicle is worth, the adjuster will consider the vehicle totaled. You will receive a check for the current value of the vehicle. However, if you are still making payments on it, the lender will receive the amount owed. If there is an excess, you will receive the difference. If the value is less than what you owe, you will still be responsible for paying the difference, on top of buying a new car.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today
You have several options for repairing your vehicle after an accident – don’t let your insurance company coerce you into using a repair shop you don’t feel comfortable with or refuse to pay for your repairs.
If you are having issues with your insurance company, don’t ignore the situation. It’s time to seek legal help. Manhattan car accident attorney at the office of Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. can make sure your insurance company pays up after your vehicle sustains damage in an accident. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call (212) 240-9465.