The growing number of car accidents is a cause of alarm for the general public and the authorities alike. Besides causing a large number of deaths and injuries every year, they result in property damage worth millions of dollars as well. Luckily for the victim, the law entitles them to get compensation for their injuries as well as damage to their property. However, getting a claim for damages is complicated and you need to follow the right procedure to ensure that you are able to secure the amount you deserve. Here are some guidelines that give you an overview of handling property damage claims during a car accident.
Start by getting an estimate
If your car gets damaged in an accident, you will probably take it for repair first. While this is important to get the vehicle back in shape, it also gets you an estimate of the damages. You will need to present one as a part of the claims process. The insurance company may insist that you get an estimate from a specific repair shop but you can rightfully seek a second opinion from an independent shop.
Get assessment for the fair market value
A car damaged in an accident is regarded as “totaled” if the cost of repair is more than its value. This usually happens in case of major accidents. If the insurance company considers it totaled, you can get an assessment for its fair market value. Getting an accurate assessment is as easy as searching the internet to find the cost of a comparable automobile, in terms of its age, condition, mileage, and features.
Claim the loss
After getting the damage estimate and fair value of the car (if needed), you can file a claim. Remember that you need to have evidence to prove the accident as well. Richard Barton of Trey Barton Law explains that documentation is critical when making a personal injury claim, especially when you’re seeking money for damages; you’ll need to prove your losses in court to receive compensation for them. This is the reason you must have the written estimate along with other documents such as police reports, witness testimonies to prove the accident.
Consider personal injury as well
Often damages are accompanied by physical injuries to the victim of the car accident. When you file a claim, consider both aspects of the damages to get the compensation you deserve. The insurance company will make all the efforts to close the case as quickly as possible and with a minimum compensation amount. But you should be resolved not to settle for anything less than the claim your rightfully deserve.
Hire an expert attorney
Car accident cases that involve personal injury and property damage are complicated and need to be handled smartly. So you must absolutely look for a seasoned attorney who has the right experience and good track record in such cases. They understand how insurance companies are to be tackled and what needs to be done to maximize your compensation. Following the right process is vital if you want to secure the rightful compensation for damages in car accidents. If you have suffered a loss, whether physical or financial, you absolutely deserve to be compensated.