You’ve been a victim in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you’re probably now concerned about two things; how much it could cost you, and what happens with your car now?
The burden of having your vehicle damaged can often have huge knock-on effects on how you live your daily life, unexpected financial costs- all of which will impact you on a much larger scale than any physical injury might do (and that’s not considering the cost of your medical care if you’ve been injured too)
When you’re involved in an accident, it’s not just the costs of replacing or repairing your vehicle you’ll need to cover, it’s the knock-on loss of your money that should also be taken into account when working out the right amount of compensation you deserve. Perhaps you use your car to travel to work and now you’ve had to cover travel expenses using public transport? Or you’ve had to miss a days’ work and therefore lost earnings
We’ve put together our 6 top tips on considering your financial losses after an accident, based on previous cases we’ve worked on;
1. What is your property damage
Assess the damage to all of your property- was it only your vehicle that was damaged or has your laptop or personal phone been damaged too? Were there items in your car that have been damaged and you’ll need to replace now? Make sure to list everything that was damaged in your accident, including the mechanic’s review of the damage on your car. This will ensure you’re covering everything and not being left short after an accident that wasn’t your fault!
2. What is the value of the damage to your car
Once you’ve listed any other property, have your car assessed by a professional mechanic. They’ll be able to work out the costs of the damage and give you an honest quote for repairs. Remember to add this quote and any property damage too so you have a better understanding of financial loss. You’ll then be left to make the decision of whether it’s worth paying out the cost to repair initially, which leads us to…
3. How to decide whether your car is worth fixing?
If your car repairs quote has come back and is surprisingly high, you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth repairing at all- or whether the costs outweigh the actual value of your car. If your car is older, has a lot of miles on the clock, or was generally a little worn out, the cost of repairs may not be worth covering. Find out how much your car would cost at resale and compare it to the cost of the damage.
4. What are OEM parts and do you have to use them
If your mechanic or the insurance company handling your claim has suggested you use the ‘original equipment manufacturer’ for your car, this can often be a more expensive way to repair your car. Sometimes, it works out cheaper to use alternative parts when repairing a car but your car may be specialist and need the original parts for repair. Again, it’s your choice when it comes to repairing your own car
5. What if I’ve added additional modifications to my car?
Similar to using the OEM parts, if you’ve modified your car with anything from custom tires, DVD-players, a custom radio system or even extra bodywork make sure to get a price for those extra parts too. Adding any kind of value to your vehicle should be covered in your overall claim so add any modifications to the list you’ve got for the cost of repairs.
6. Will I get my car back even if it’s totaled?
If your car has been considered irreparable or totaled, the acting insurance company will pay out the full cost of your car at the time of the accident. This is called the ACV, or ‘Actual cash value’ and means instead of a written-off car on your drive, you’ll receive the cash straight away but your car won’t come home.
As always, our helpful team of auto accident lawyers is on hand to help answer any further questions you may have about any property damage caused in an auto accident in Arizona. Why not give them a call today on (480) 634-7480.