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How can I get the most money on my wrecked car?
If you’ve been in an accident that’s someone else’s fault, your first inclination might be to contact the at fault party’s insurance to look at and fix your car. What you need to understand is that in California, the other party’s insurance has no good faith obligation to treat you fairly and will often give you a low-ball estimate to total out or repair your wrecked car.
Your own insurance, on the other hand has an obligation of good faith to fix or total your vehicle fairly if you’re in a car wreck. True, there may be a deductible of $500 or so on your policy,but the at fault party will pay you back in a week or two once your car is repaired. I often suggest that clients get appraisals from their own insurance and the other drivers insurance and take the highest one.
Don’t fall into a trap here. Some unscrupulous insurance agents have been telling their insured’s that if the other party was at fault, they should go thru that insurance company. That is totally wrong and is very unethical.
Most people have collision and comprehensive insurance on their vehicle and they have an absolute right to have their own insurer appraise their wrecked car. Again, have both insurance companies come out and make an appraisal.
Insurers in California have 2 options in car wrecks. They can either total out the car or they can repair the car, whichever is less expensive to them.
In a close case, however, an experienced car wreck lawyer knows the pressure points to encourage them to total the car or fix the car, depending on what the client prefers.
If you have a car wreck in Sacramento or surrounding areas, feel free to call me anytime at 916.921.6400 for free, friendly advice.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury attorney since 1982.