TIPS ON HANDLING YOUR PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM
Before any work is performed on your vehicle make sure to take pictures of the damage.
If your vehicle has been towed to a wrecker yard notify the insurance company as soon as possible regarding your vehicle’s whereabouts. Most wrecker yards charge storage fees each day your care is at the facility. Texas law says you have a duty to mitigate your damages. This means you must not incur any unnecessary charges relating to your claim. This applies even if the accident was not your fault. Leaving your car in the wrecking yard while the accident is being investigated can result in you being responsible for the cost of storage.
If you are able to legally drive your vehicle, take it to a body shop you are familiar with and request a free estimate. Then present the estimate to the insurance company.
If your vehicle is determined to be a total loss the insurance company will give you two values for the vehicle. One will be if the insurance company takes the car and the other will be if you keep the car. The latter is known as the “salvage" value. The salvage value is typically a lot less than if the insurance company takes the car and will be reflected on the Title to your car.
If your vehicle is totaled, make sure the amount offered by the insurance company is fair. You can find out what your vehicle is worth by looking at the “Blue Book" value, talking with your local dealership and searching the internet to find out what similar vehicles are selling for, www.cars.com. Remember to take into account the condition of your vehicle and mileage when determining the value.
Rental Car: You are entitled to a rental car for the amount of time your car is in the shop being repaired. The average cost for a rental car should be about $25.00 per day. If a rental car is necessary, make sure you make arrangements to pick up a rental car before you take your vehicle to the shop. NOTE: If your car is totaled you may not receive a rental car or be reimbursed for a rental car by the insurance company.
Make sure any papers or checks you sign are for your property damage claim only and not your bodily injury claim. If you are unsure please call our office.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office.
A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.