When someone is injured in an Alabama auto accident, there is typically substantial damage to their vehicle as well. When this happens, the person at fault for the crash is always liable for damages to the car in addition to any other damages caused by the wreck.
Under Alabama insurance regulations, property damage claims and bodily injury claims arising from a motor vehicle accident are considered two separate claims. We urge you to speak with one of our attorneys today if you have been involved in a collision that was caused by the actions or negligence of another person or entity. In addition to compensation for property damage, you may be able to recover losses from current and future medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and emotional anguish.
To begin exploring your legal options, contact our lawyers today by completing the Free Case Review form to the right.
Resolving a Property Damage Claim
There are two factors that need to be taken into consideration when resolving an auto property damage claim: can the vehicle be repaired or is it totaled and does the other party have insurance coverage.
After an auto accident has happened, the insurance company will decide whether the car is worth repairing or if the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle (or if the car is totaled).
If The Vehicle Will Be Repaired
In many cases, the insurance company will choose to repair a car instead of replacing it. After an insurance provider has made this decision, you need to get an estimate from the insurance company and find an auto body shop to make the repairs. You are free to choose any body shop that you wish, although the insurance company may recommend their preferred shops.
It is important that you express to the body shop that you do not want any work done to your vehicle without your approval. The original estimate from the insurance company is rarely accurate and may not adequately cover the repairs.
If your vehicle is repairable but the other party either fled the scene of the accident or does not have insurance, you may be able to make a claim on your own policy if you have collision coverage and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If The Vehicle Is Totaled
When the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle, the car is considered “totaled.” The insurance company of the at-fault party is required to pay the market value of the totaled car plus tax, title and license in order to purchase a comparable vehicle.
Insurance companies traditionally use the Kelly Blue Book or the NADA guide in order to determine value. Unfortunately, when a vehicle is totaled, the insurance company is not required to pay for the victim’s car rental fees, although many will pay for a vehicle until an offer is made.
Tips for Property Damage Victims
At the Citrin Law Firm, we have handled many property damage cases over the years. We’ve learned that sometimes a victim’s actions can severely limit their ability to recover fair compensation for their losses. To help you with your property damage claim, be sure to follow these tips:
- Do not sign a property damage release until you have sought legal counsel.
- Do not sign a bodily injury release while you are in the process of negotiating your property damage claim.
- Be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a claim.
- Take photos of your vehicle as these can be critical to your case.
It is important to speak with an attorney if you believe you have reason to file a property damage lawsuit. Contact our lawyers today by completing the Free Case Review form to the right to begin exploring your legal options right away.
Contact an Experienced Property Damage Attorney Today
We encourage you to contact our firm right away if you incurred significant property damage in an accident that was caused by the actions or negligence of another driver.
At the Citrin Law Firm, we offer free legal consultations to Mobile accident victims. During your consultation, a member of our team of legal professionals will review the circumstances surrounding your claim and recommend the best course of legal action to pursue.
To ensure that our clients are able to afford proper representation in their pursuit for justice, our personal injury law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you choose to hire our lawyers, there is never any cost to you until we are able to successfully obtain a favorable outcome for your claim. If we fail to do this, you do not owe us any fees.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Alabama property damage victims or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our attorneys, contact the Citrin Law Firm today by completing the Free Case Review form on this page.