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Getting an independent appraisal after an auto accident

Sunnyvale, CA |

I was in a freeway accident that was not my fault. I was unhurt (just a few bruises), but my car was damaged. My insurance company is now assessing the damage and awaiting the Highway Patrol report.

My insurance policy included a provision for the insurance company repairing my car or, if the repairs equal 75% of the cost of a replacement car, replacing the car. If the car can be fixed, fine -- but I want to make sure that it would be safe to drive.

So my question: Do I have the right to hire an independent appraiser to look at my car and certify it as safe? If so, how do you suggest I handle it with the insurance company?

Thanks in advance.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Yes you can & you should. Pay particular attention to "diminution of value". There are many services online that will assist you. For example:

If you retain an attorney you should ask them to assist you with this.


I do not practice law in California, but I do not see why you can not get your own estimate to see if the vehicle can be safely repaired and the cost and submit it to the insurance company for comparison to their estimate. Seems very reasonable.

The information above is for informational purposes only, is not intended as legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship.


You are free to get an estimate from the repair shop of your choice, and have that shop do the repairs on your vehicle. If you were injured in the accident, you should treat for your injuries and and contact an attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury matters.


Yes. You have the right to get your car appraised by any competent mechanic but your insurance company may disagree with their results. You do, however have potential additional damages to which you are entitled to reimbursement which include: 1) Diminution of value due to the fact that most people don't want a car that has been in an accident. Most insurance companies keep silent about this available damage because the would rather keep the money rather than give it to you. 2) You are entitled to the loss of use of your vehicle for a reasonable amount of time even though you choose to not rent a car. This is usually up to 30 days and from $25-$250 dollars per day. 3) You are also entitled to any pain, suffering and inconvenience caused by the accident. If you have any further questions I'm happy to discuss this further at 559-304-1549.

Sunnyvale Injury Lawyer
1250 Oakmead Pkwy.
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Sunnyvale, CA 94085

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