If you have been in an auto accident, you expect auto insurance to cover the cost of your damages. But, if you have been offered less than you need just to cover the costs, you might find that isn’t always true.
There are several things that come into play when you have been involved in a crash and how much you will be compensated for your losses. First, it involves who is at-fault for the crash, the number of parties involved, and how much coverage is available through the insurance policy.
If another driver is at fault, but they only have $100,000 liability coverage and they have totaled three vehicles and sent five people to the hospital, the policy will be maxed out very quickly, so you might not get enough money to fund your damages.
In that case, you might have to pursue a claim through your uninsured motorist coverage.
The Value of Your Car
If you don’t have replacement coverage for your car, you might find yourself owing for a vehicle that you can no longer drive if your car is totaled.
The claims adjuster will consider your car’s mileage, the condition of its body and interior, the tires and any additional features, parts, or equipment that you have added to the vehicle. If you have receipts for customized parts, then they might be helpful.
Based on your car’s pre-accident condition, the adjuster will look up similar vehicles for sale in your area. The adjuster will then base your car’s total loss estimate on the values of the similar vehicles. This is considered the actual cash value of your car.
In many states, you can also collect the cost of title, registration, and sale tax. You might find yourself being offered $9,000 for a car that you owe $14,000 on.
Looking At Your Other Damages
You will need to provide documentation to support your other damages, such as medical bills, proof of missed work and lost wages, prescription receipts, tow bills, and so forth. If you believe there was adequate coverage to cover the costs of your expenses, you should decline the offer.
Remember, the initial offer is usually a lowball offer and the insurance company can afford to pay more. You shouldn’t settle for less than what you are entitled for the damages suffered in the crash.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in an auto accident, don’t settle with the insurance company until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney in your area.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you have nothing at all to lose. Your attorney will not be paid until you are compensated for your damages.
To get your claim on the right track, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form so an attorney in your area can review your case. If your car insurance didn’t offer you enough to cover the cost of your accident, help is available.