One of the most frustrating issues that people face after being involved in a car accident is dealing with an insurance company regarding their property damage claims. Insurance companies are responsible for repairing or replacing your vehicle at fair market value. The issues are the methods that are utilized by the insurance companies to determine your cars value may not be fair to the insured.
In evaluating property damages claims, insurance companies use tactics such as pricing aftermarket or junkyard parts. The costs of these parts are much lower and can reduce the value of your claim. They also utilize repair shops that may or may not perform the quality of work you desire for your car and provide services to insurance companies at lower rates. A good practice is to go to a shop you know and trust and get a separate estimate. This will allow you to compare what is being offered by the insurance company.
In total loss claims, if the insurance company wants to total your car they can utilize more expensive parts to increase the value of the property damage if it is in their interest to total the car instead of repairing it. They can also use the less expensive parts to keep from totaling your car if they find it advantageous not to total your car. There are many methods utilized by claims adjusters to manipulate how your property damage claim is handled.
In determining the value of your car, claims adjusters assign a “condition” to your car. It can be “excellent”, “good”, “average”,” fair”, etc. In addition to assigning a condition, they also “double dip” by reducing your claim due to issues such as worn tires, worn interior, and body damage. The problem is, if there is an issue with the car, then that is why is will be deemed as “fair” or “average” or whatever condition they assign. If such a lower condition is assigned, it is unfair to further reduce the value of the car because of the very defects that caused the assignment of the condition.
It can be overwhelming dealing with property damage claims. Some lawyers do not get involved in assisting their injury clients in the property damage claims. At Graves Thomas, this is part of our overall service to our clients. We aggressively handle our injury clients’ property damage claims quickly and efficiently, making sure our clients the money they deserve.