What Should I Do If My Car Is Totaled In An Accident?
It can be devastating when your car is totaled in an auto accident. You might no longer have any means to travel to work or pick-up your children from school. You might have to purchase a rental car for several weeks. The personal or emotional association that you had with your vehicle was likely worth far more than your car’s value on paper. In many cases, your car could still run again if the insurance company paid for repairs, but they won’t agree to do so because the repairs cost more than the vehicle’s current market value.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you should contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer. The lawyers at Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers understand that a totaled vehicle can turn your life upside down. We will help you quickly resolve your property damage claim so that you can purchase a new vehicle and get back to your daily routine while you recover from your collision injuries.
Who Pays For My Rental Vehicle?
The at fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating you for the cost of your rental vehicle, as well as the property damage to your vehicle. Therefore, you should make sure that you get the responsible driver’s insurance information before you leave the collision scene. Then, you should contact the at fault driver’s insurance company at your earliest convenience and file a claim.
Sometimes, the at fault driver’s insurance carrier initially disputes liability. When they do, they will not agree to pay for your rental vehicle or the property damage to your vehicle. Even if they ultimately change their mind and accept liability, that means that you have to pay for your own rental vehicle for several weeks. That can be a heavy burden for a family.
The best way to avoid that predicament is to make sure that you purchase rental car reimbursement coverage on your own insurance policy. That way, your own insurer can cover the cost of the rental car during the period that the at fault driver’s insurance carrier is evaluating liability. Rental car reimbursement coverage typically only adds $2-$15 per month to your premium.
What Do I Do If The Insurance Company Won’t Offer Fair Compensation For My Vehicle’s Loss?
Our clients frequently complain that the insurance company offered too little compensation for the loss of their vehicle. That can be really frustrating when you have to purchase a new vehicle that costs dramatically more than the insurance company is offering you. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t have to factor in the sentimental value or convenience of the vehicle when they offer to compensate you for the loss of your vehicle. Most insurance companies just look-up the Kelly Blue Book value of your vehicle and offer you something slightly less than that amount.
In extreme cases where the insurer’s offer for the loss of your vehicle is so low that it could not have been made in good faith, you can sue the insurer for bad faith failure to settle. O.C.G.A. § 33-4-7(a) provides:
In the event of a loss because of injury to or destruction of property covered by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, the insurer issuing such policy has an affirmative duty to adjust that loss fairly and promptly, to make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate the claim, and, where liability is reasonably clear, to make a good faith effort to settle with the claimant potentially entitled to recover against the insured under such policy. Any insurer who breaches this duty may be liable to pay the claimant, in addition to the loss, not more than 50 percent of the liability of the insured for the loss or $5,000.00, whichever is greater, and all reasonably attorneys’ fees for the prosecution of the action.
Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers Can Help
When you’re injured in a car accident, the last thing that you want to deal with is the loss of your vehicle. At Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers we will help you swiftly resolve your property damage claim so that you can get back on the road. If the insurance company won’t offer you fair compensation for the loss of your vehicle, we will be glad to take them to court to hold them accountable.