Damage to Vehicle
One of the first things you will need to do after an accident is to get your vehicle repaired or replaced. Without a car to get from point A to point B you cannot go to work, doctor’s appointments, or even go to your attorney’s office. There are several important points to consider when it comes to getting your car fixed after an accident. Follow these steps to in order to have the best results.
Mitigate Your Damages
Anytime you have suffered financial damages as the result of someone’s negligence, you cannot just sit back and let your losses compound. You have a duty to mitigate your damages, which means you need to take reasonable steps to minimize your financial losses, including making sure your vehicle is not sitting in a tow yard where it is accruing daily storage fees.
Get an Estimate
Once you have mitigated your losses by making sure that your car is in a location where it is not accruing storage fees, the next thing you should to is to obtain an estimate for the cost of repairs. You can either get an estimate from a shop of your choice or your attorney can arrange for the insurance company’s field adjuster to come out and inspect your vehicle.
Repaired or Replaced
The next step is to have your vehicle repaired or replaced. This will depend on the amount of damages to your vehicle and the cost of repair. Generally, if the cost of repairs is too great, then it will not make economic sense to repair your vehicle and your vehicle will be replaced during the car accident claims process. The negligent driver who crashed into you is responsible to either repair your vehicle or pay you its replacement value.
If the cost of repairs is too great, then your car will be replaced. More specifically, you are entitled to receive a sum equal to the replacement value of your vehicle, including sales taxes, and title and DMV license fees. Keep in mind, you are to receive the “retail” value, which is more than the private party value.