Who is going to pay for my car repair after a car accident?
Realistically, following a car collision you may not have a choice as to whether or not your car is repaired or replaced. Commonly, accident victims want a good car fixed as opposed to replaced. However, if they own a car that really never ran well or was just a lemon they may want it to be replaced, instead of repaired. The bad news is that Arizona state auto accident law leaves it up to the person who caused the crash’s insurance company to decided. You can bet your bottom dollar most insurance companies set an internal “corporate” limit as to how much they will spend repairing a vehicle and weigh this fact before deciding to repair or just replace the vehicle. Insurance companies evaluate the value of the car versus the cost to repair the damaged car as the most important calculation when determining whether the car will be replaced or repaired.
How do insurance adjusters determine the value of your damaged vehicle?
Let me tell you that they certainly don’t rely on Kelly Blue Book. What you and the insurance adjuster think your car is worth typically are worlds apart! Arizona state law says the “market value” of a like vehicle is what determines how much a car is worth following a crash. You will get a better handle on the market value of your vehicle by looking in the newspaper, the Auto Trader, Cars.Com, and Auto Trader.Com to come up with the market value of your vehicle. The insurance industry refers to these other vehicles as “comps”; meaning they find other comparable vehicles and what they are selling for. In order to avoid any surprises you should do the same to determine what your car is worth according to market value. If they decide to replace your car, the insurance company is only required to pay the “market value” for your vehicle that was damaged in the collision.
Arizona law can really hurt you financially if you are upside down in your vehicle value.
Realistically, you can be considered “upside down” in your car the minute you drive off your dealer’s parking lot. This is very typical for buyers of a new car. However, this can happen with used cars, as well. Arizona law dictates that the “at fault” person who caused the collision is only required to pay the market value of the car. So if you are “upside down” and your car sustained collision damage you are in a very unfair position.
This creates a problem even for an experienced personal injury lawyer, but most will help by trying to increase the payoff amount from the insurance company. However, there is no guarantee.
A few facts concerning the repair of your car
A typical insurance company ploy is to tell accident victims that they have an “approved” list of body repair shops that they can go to. The truth is that if you or a loved one have had a car sustain damage in a wreck you are definitely not limited to the shops that are on the insurance company’s preferred list. Any reputable repair facility is allowed to do the repairs on the vehicle.
I need to get a rental car because of my car accident. Who is responsible to pay for it?
The “at fault” person’s insurance company who caused the collision is responsible for paying for a rental car, but only during the time that the vehicle is in the shop. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental vehicle until the car is repaired or until the day they decide to give you market value for your damaged car. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a collision and needs assistance with getting their car fixed, replaced, or getting a car rental, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
BEEN IN A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT GIVE US A CALL 602-456-7252
Posted on January 28, 2014