I got rear ended and the insurance of the person rear ended me told me that my car is totaled.What is the best thing to doo ?

The car is a 2004 Honda Avalon in good condition and I can not afford to get a new car?

Anaheim, CA -

Attorney Answers (6)

Steven Mark Sweat

Steven Mark Sweat

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Beverly Hills, CA
Answered

If you were injured, you should retain an attorney immediately. If the incident only involves property damage, the law provides that the at fault driver (through their insurance carrier) is responsible for the lesser of the cost of repair or the fair market value. Under California law, you are NOT obligated to take your car to a body shop "recommended" by the insurance company(ies) and are allowed to take it to the shop of your choice. I would: (1) report the claim to your insurance company -- and probably submit the claim through them if you have collision coverage; (2) open a claim with the at fault driver's insurance carrier; and (3) get at least 2-3 estimates of repair from reputable body shops. Make sure they put it up on a lift to determine if there is any frame damage. If the cost of repair is more than the car is worth, they will pay "fair market value" for the car and you need to make sure to review carefully the documentation upon which they rely to determine this value. If the car is financed, you should check to see if you have "gap insurance" that would cover any difference between fair market value and what you owe on the car. Hope this helps!

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Asmik Jasmine Gevorkyan

Asmik Jasmine Gevorkyan

Personal Injury Lawyer - Sherman Oaks, CA
Answered

If the other party accepted liability for the accident, the insurance carrier will offer you a settlement for the actual cash value of your car. They have to give you documents showing how they have reached the value they are offering. If you are not in agreement you may dispute it and request a different amount. You may also choose to keep the car and receive a reduced value. Good luck.

Jasmine Gevorkyan

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Manuel Alzamora Juarez

Manuel Alzamora Juarez

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Berkeley, CA
Answered

If you are not injured, get three estimates and you can do one online by using kelly blue book at KBB.com Armed with this information , you can negotiate a better price for your car. Best of luck.

This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492.... more
Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Seattle, WA
Answered

Make sure that the responsible insurance carrier pays fair market value for the total loss of your vehicle.

Alexis Saphire Breyer

Alexis Saphire Breyer

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Phoenix, AZ
Answered

First, if you are injured you should contact a California injury lawyer. Second when it comes to the value of the vehicle, it is a good idea to look through newspapers or online services to find other "like" vehicles. The insurance company will complete an evaluation that will explain their offer. It is important to ask for a copy of this evaluation. You may want to get an estimate from the at fault insurance company as well as your insurance company. Many times your own insurance company will make a better offer on the total loss. Look on the evaluation for any "extras" that your vehicle may have that the comparable vehicles do not have. Also, make sure tax, license fees, etc are included. It is always a good idea to look at the evaluation in terms of what vehicles your vehicle is being compared to as well. You may also be entitled to money for a rental vehicle or loss of use. Each state is different and has different laws. Your case sounds like one where it is best to have a free consultation from a lawyer. We are in Arizona but there are many injury lawyers in California who charge a contingency fee agreement and may be able to help you. You may look to some of the lawyers who answer questions on this site but I would suggest only calling California lawyers for the circumstances of your claim.

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Christian K. Lassen II

Christian K. Lassen II

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

If you sustained injuries, a personal injury lawyer can pursue a claim for your pain & suffering, and you can use that money towards your new car.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

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