Insurance adjusters put a lot of pressure on car accident victims. Insurance adjusters may provide you with a complex document gathered from various databases which purportedly supports their assessment of fair market value. Insurance adjusters may offer you far less than your vehicle is worth. Insurance adjusters may delay the process of paying for your car because they know you are feeling a financial pinch from paying for the car rental yourself. Their goal is to have you be grateful and to take whatever amount they offe your.
Buyer awareness is important: the unfortunate car accident victim has much to contend with. Remember, the manner in which insurance adjusters determine the value of your car is not an exact science. You can do your own comparative research by checking out car values in neighboring states within 100 miles.
Insurance companies will often not offer fair market value for wrecked vehicles. Insurance companies will not consider the salvage value. Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind.
What if I owe the bank more money than my damaged car is now worth?
Often you will end up owing the bank the difference between the amount you owed the bank and the value of the car. Can you make mechanical repairs and forget about the cosmetic repairs? Are you willing to have the repairs made with used parts vs. factory manufactured or OEM parts?
This is why retaining the right attorney is important – your attorney should ensure that you are fully compensated for pain and suffering and the expenses related to your accident and your injuries. This kind of recovery may be multiples of what you lost on your car.
How does the insurance company devalue my car?
Insurance companies have no shortage of tricks up their sleeve. Your car may have been in “excellent” condition before the accident, but the adjuster clasifies it as “fair” so it’s worth less. Some of the most common are to ignore those car features that add value to your car such as sunroofs, upgraded radio, sports package vs. luxury package, etc.. If you bought your car very recently, you can even get the amount you paid instead of the book value.
What if my car is totaled?
In Pennsylvania, if the damage of your vehicle costs more to repair than 80 percent of the vehicle value; your vehicle will be considered “totaled.” The value of a totaled vehicle is determined by averaging the price set forth in the NADA evaluation guide and the Red Book which is used by banks to value cars.
The other driver’s insurance company called me, should I talk to them?
No! You must remember that insurance companies are in the business of making money. Look at the skyline of any major city and notice that insurance companies often have the tallest buildings. They make as much or more money than virtually any other major companies! You do not want to talk to those insurance companies without the benefit of an attorney helping you. Remember, they already have attorneys helping them!
The insurance companies are not your friend today or any day. If the adjuster is really nice, beware! The more they get you talking about your car accident, the happier they are and the better it is for them.
You probably have never been in an accident before and for something this serious and important, you should rely on Jon Ostroff who has dealt with these big powerful insurance companies for many years.
What if my car is not insured? Can I still file a claim?
Possibly, yes. The facts differ in every case.
Tell the lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law what happened and find out what your legal options are.