Needless to say, if you were involved in a car accident then your car was probably damaged in some way. Of course, how badly your car was damaged depends on the severity of the wreck. It will likely require some repairs, but how much will the repairs cost and who will pay for them? You have questions, and the Carpey Law website has answers.
Will the other driver’s insurance cover the cost of my car repairs?
It is possible that the other driver’s insurance company will offer to pay for the damage, but that’s not always the case. Typically if there is a dispute over liability, ie. who caused the accident, the other insurance company will not pay for the property damage.
If you have purchased “collision coverage” from your own insurance provider then you can turn to your insurer to help cover some of the damages. In fact, it is entirely possible that your own insurance company will offer you better service than the other driver’s. As long as the repairs to the car do not add up to more than the value of the car pre-accident, the insurance company should cover the cost. But that’s not all.
What is diminution in value?
It is important to remember that the insurance company should not only pay you for repairs to the car but also for the car’s diminution in value. After an accident, your car will be less valuable than it was before the accident. A car which has undergone repairs will never be as valuable as one which never needed repairs. This loss in value is known as diminution in value. Unfortunately, proving diminution in value is a difficult task. Obtaining an affidavit from your repair shop might prove useful.
What happens if my insurance provider determines that my car is totaled?
After a mechanic assesses the damage to your car and decides how much it will cost to repair it, your insurance company will decide if it is cost efficient to pay for those repairs. If the cost of repairing your car is more than 80 per cent of the blue book value of the car they may decide to total the car. What happens next is that your insurer will pay you approximately the amount of money you would have received for the car the day before the accident occurred, ie the book value. Your insurance company may not necessarily offer a number that you think is fair. Sometimes an affidavit from the mechanic can be helpful. In all cases, the process can be made simpler if you seek the assistance of a skilled attorney. Without an attorney, you may wonder if you are being taken advantage of. A good Pennsylvania car accident lawyer can alleviate some of those worries.
For more information about what to do following your Pennsylvania car accident, and for more articles on personal injury law, visit the blog category section of the Carpey Law website.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.