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Are you getting the RIGHT value for your car after an accident?

By Ken Gibson on July 25, 2017

If you are in a car accident—regardless of any physical injury—replacing your car can be a pain.

  • If you have been in a wreck and fortunately were NOT injured, we share the following information to help you negotiate with the insurance company to replace or repair your car.
  • If you WERE injured in a wreck, the lawyers at our firm will guide you and, if needed, we will negotiate with the insurance company directly to get you fair compensation for your totaled car.

According to Virginia law, your insurance company must pay you the cash value of your vehicle at the time it was wrecked if it was totaled.

But many insurance companies may try to get away with paying you less than the full value of your vehicle.

If your vehicle is a total loss, you should check the NADA value (www.NADA.com) to determine, at the month and year that your damage occurred, the retail value of your vehicle with its mileage, options, and accessories. Virginia law provides that NADA is an accepted source of a car’s retail value for purposes of a property claim.

A second source to check the retail value of your vehicle, if damaged or totaled, is www.Edmunds.com, which is another site that allows our client to enter the appropriate data to assess value.

Some insurers use CCI, which is also an accepted valuation company, but one to which you are unlikely to have easy or free access, unless the adjuster sends you the CCI report. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the property claim adjuster; our firm is willing to help you if negotiations break down.

Remember, your insurance company must pay you the retail price of your car, not the trade-in or wholesale value. Many insurance companies count on you not knowing this. Don’t let your insurance company get away with paying you less than what your vehicle was worth.

What else do I need to know?

You also need to know about these two other aspects of property damage if you are in a wreck:

  • Personal Property Loss in a Car Wreck

Another aspect of a property damage claim that most people don’t know about is that you may be compensated for property that is damaged within your vehicle.

For example, if your pet is injured during an accident and requires veterinary care, we can seek compensation on your behalf.

Property damage might also include damage to valuable personal property you were transporting that was harmed or destroyed in a wreck. Such personal property could include expensive housewares, art work, musical instruments, tools and equipment, firearms, and similar property.

  • Rental Car Coverage following a Car Wreck

During the time your car repairs are underway, the at-fault driver’s car insurance claims adjusters must arrange to provide a comparable rental car for you.

Although you may have rental car reimbursement on your own policy, it generally does not need to be used. Virginia law requires that the insurance company for the driver who caused the damage (the at-fault driver) must pay for you to have a comparable rental car.

Note: It’s an added benefit to have rental car reimbursement on your own policy if the other insurance company is dragging its feet or delaying a decision on paying for your rental car. We often tell clients to go ahead and get a rental car using their own insurance if they need a car right away; and then several days later, if the other insurance company then recognizes it has a duty to pay you, it can simply take over the bill for the rental car that you already have.

We’re here to help

If you are our personal injury client, our firm will help you if negotiations break down regarding the value of your car and property. We do not receive any compensation for helping property replacement compensation—it’s a value-added service we offer to all our clients.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car wreck, talk to an experienced accident attorney at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our legal team will work hard for you until you’ve received all the fair compensation you are entitled to receive. Remember, we do not get paid unless we recover money for you. Call us today at (804) 413-6777 for a free consultation.

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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.