In a car crash. Insurance won’t total my car. What’s next?

Car Crash

As a car crash attorney in Sacramento, I’d be glad to help on this question.

Many times, an insurer will look at a car that is seriously damaged in a car crash and elect to repair the car rather than total it.  Sometimes, this is very disturbing to clients who have rather new model vehicles.

If you pay $30,000 or more for a new car and suffer say $20,000 in property damage, some insurers will decide to repair the car rather than total it out.   If they do repair it, clients are left with a car that simply does not have the resale value the car had before the crash.  What to do?

First, talk to the adjuster and insist that the insurer also pay for “Diminished value” after the car is fixed. Diminished Value of a vehicle can be determined by calling upon certain appraisal specialists to value the car.

The cost of the appraisal will be approximately $400, but it may be some of the best money you ever spend. Often the appraisal will show a loss of $5000 to $20,000 even after a car is fixed.

One such company doing such diminished value appraisals is found here.

In addition to having a diminished valuation appraisal done, bring to the adjusters attention that after the estimated repair work is started, there are often newly discovered defects that were not found in the original appraisal and that those repairs will add to the total repair price.

Armed with the diminished value report and discussing possible additional repair work will often persuade a reluctant adjuster to total out a car rather than repair it.

I’m Ed Smith, a car crash attorney in Sacramento and I’d be glad to help if you are experiencing any problems of this nature.

We have the leading car crash website in California, www.AutoAccident.com.

Feel free to call me anytime for free, friendly advice. In Sacramento, 916-921-6400. Elsewhere 800-404-5400.

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