After being in an accident, your mind is undoubtedly spinning, just a little bit at the very minimum. There are lots of things to think about, and likely, the last thing on your mind is how much money the insurance adjuster is going to offer you for your totaled car. We see this all the time, insurance companies making low ball offers in the hopes that you go ahead and accept it quickly. It can be confusing figuring out what is right and what is wrong. Our Frederick auto accident attorney has some thoughts that should help you make the right decision. Keep reading below to find out what they are.
Top Tips From Our Frederick Auto Accident Attorney
1) Check Your Own Policy First
First, check your own insurance policy to see what its language says. If you don’t have a copy of the policy, get one from your insurance agent. You might be lucky enough to have language that says that you will get paid the value of a new car. This usually applies only in the case of a vehicle that has been recently purchased and has under 10,000 or 15,000 miles. If you’re fortunate enough to have this, your agent will see that you get paid and then it’s your company’s headache to collect against the insurer for the person who hit you.
2) If That Fails, Get in Touch With the Defendant's Insurance Company, Then the Dealership
If you don’t have this kind of coverage, our Frederick auto accident attorney suggests getting in touch with the defendant’s insurer and ask for a written explanation as to how they valued your car. Check it against “blue book” valuations that you can find on the Internet. Also, if your car was in exceptionally good shape, go talk to the dealership or service firm that regularly maintained it and see if they will put a memo together on their letterhead indicating why they think the car was worth more than just standard blue book value before the crash.
3) File a Claim in Court
If you can’t settle at a reasonable amount, you can always file a claim in court, and you should do so with the assistance of an experienced Frederick auto accident attorney. If the value is $30,000 or less, you can file in District Court. If it’s above that, you’ll have to file in Circuit Court. You can represent yourself in either but if you find you have to file in Circuit Court, we definitely recommend that you hire a skilled Frederick auto accident attorney. If you do represent yourself, make sure that you document the accident and take photos of the vehicle to the court and remember that if you’re going to have your dealership offer an opinion as to value, you generally need to get that person to appear at trial.
As a side note, our Frederick auto accident attorney does undertake representation of the vehicle damage claim if we also represent you for an injury or death case out of the same circumstances. This is at no additional charge.
Contact Our Frederick Personal Injury Law Firm Today!
If you've recently totaled your car in an accident and are getting the run around from insurance adjusters, we're here to help. Our Frederick auto accident attorney has years of experience delaing with insurance companies and would be more than happy to represent you to make sure you get the settlement you deserve.
To schedule a free, no-cost case evaluation with our Hagerstown and Frederick auto accident attorney, give us a call at (301) 790-3600 or contact us online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.