If you’ve had a car accident and you’re not sure what to do, you’re not alone. We understand how a car accident can be an interruption of your entire life, and the whole insurance claim process can be quite confusing.
Maximizing Your Property Damage Claim
Your property damage claim is separate from your personal injury claim. Here are some steps you can take to maximize your property damage claim to make sure the insurance company doesn’t profit at your expense.
1. Set Up A Claim
First, you must call the responsible auto insurance company and set up a claim. They will assign you a claim number and an adjuster. Make sure you write these down, because you’re going to need them for all correspondence with that insurance adjuster. From here on out, always put your claim number on everything.
2. Schedule an Inspection
Through the adjuster, schedule an inspection of your vehicle by a field adjuster. They’re going to determine whether or not your car should be repaired or what they call “totaled”. If it’s going to be repaired, then you need to make sure your car is fixed to your satisfaction the way it was before it went to that shop without any air leaks or squeaks.
3. Do Your Research
Now let’s talk about if your car has been totaled. Before you just accept whatever offer that insurance company is going to make you, do your research. Make sure to check out Kelley Blue Book at kbb.com.
You can put in the make, model, and features of your car to determine what a private party value would be for your car. You can also usedcars.com or a similar website where you can still find cars that are for sale right now with the same make, model, similar mileage, and things of that nature to get a good value of what your car should be. Print all of these things and fax or email them to the adjuster to help you with your argument for a higher car value.
4. Note Upgrades and Recent Repairs
Always ask the adjuster for a breakdown of what they’re actually paying you for your claim. You know your car way better than any insurance adjuster is going to know your car. You need to make sure you’re getting credit for that special speaker system, stereo system, spoiler, sport package, navigation system, trailer hitch or any other non-factory add-on.
A lot of our clients don’t realize that they can get credit for recent repairs or improvements to the vehicle, too. Get the receipt for any car repair you did in recent history and send a copy of it to the adjuster. This is not going to be a dollar for dollar credit for, say, brand new tires on your car, but you will get some credit and every dollar helps.
Let’s say you put new tires on the car or you replaced an alternator, a battery, or other type of timing belt, something like that. All those things cost a lot of money, and it’s not your fault that you had a car accident right after doing the repair. Get with the adjuster and make sure you’re getting credit for those.
Don’t Let the Insurance Company Profit Off of You
Insurance companies are for-profit companies. Here at Carrollton Injury Law, we don’t want them to profit off of you.If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, please call or text Carrollton Injury Law today at 972-360-9898 for a FREE injury claim evaluation. We look forward to showing you how we put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.