If you’ve never been in a major car crash, you probably have no idea that the process of obtaining auto insurance coverage for vehicle damage is not as easy as it may seem.
A serious car accident, which leaves your vehicle either 50% damaged or completely destroyed, is not your regular fender-bender accident. And today, our Long Beach car accident attorney at JML Law is going to get real about what goes on in the process of recovering car damage after a motor vehicle collision.
First and foremost, when filing a claim with your insurance company, there can be two types of claims: a partial loss or total loss claim.
Partial loss claim
If your vehicle has sustained extensive damage but it can still be repaired, you should file a partial loss claim or a Diminished Value Claim.
Our car accident lawyers explain that a Diminished Value Claim allows you to receive additional compensation for property damage if you suffer a more financial loss later on – in addition to the initial and expected costs for car repairs.
However, many adjusters may not agree to approve your diminished value claim, which is why it’s recommended to let a skilled attorney handle all the negotiations with the insurers on your behalf.
Total loss claim
If your vehicle has been completely destroyed as a result of a car accident, and the cost of repairing the car exceeds the vehicle value, you can file a total loss claim to purchase a new vehicle.
It’s important to understand, however, that not all auto insurance plans in California cover total loss claims. In addition to that, without being legally represented by an attorney, the process of settling your total loss claim may take months or even years, in the most extreme cases. Not to mention that some adjusters and insurance companies employ unfair practices when determining if your vehicle damage can be classified as “total loss.”
How to repair your vehicle after a car accident
Most car accident victims in Long Beach and elsewhere in California tend to rush things and start repairing their vehicle as soon as possible after a crash to be able to drive the vehicle again.
But that would be a huge mistake if you don’t give the insurance adjuster enough time to estimate the cost to repair your vehicle, document all the damages, and determine the value of the settlement.
It’s highly recommended to be represented by a Long Beach car accident lawyer when filing a property damage claim after a crash. After all, you will have to allow your insurance company to assess the damage and work on agreed settlements, which is why you’d want to have a legal professional who would make sure that everything goes fairly and as negotiated.
Repairing your car without notifying your insurance company and seeking its approval may make it difficult to get further compensation for your damages. The unapproved repairs may not be reimbursed.
Do you need an attorney for that?
You most certainly do. Here’s the thing about dealing with insurance companies after filing a personal injury or property damage claim: it’s not uncommon for insurers in California to employ unfair insurance claim practices to minimize the value of your claim, ignore your claims and requests, take too long to respond, delay settlements, and others.
That’s where a car accident attorney from JML Law comes in handy. Let our best lawyers in Long Beach ensure that your insurance claim goes smoothly and according to your wishes.
After all, you need your vehicle up and running ASAP. Call our offices at 818-610-8800 or send us an email to get a free consultation.