Following an accident, one of the main concerns for many people is vehicle repair or replacement. What you might not know is if you disagree with the insurance company’s estimate for replacement cost after a total loss is declared, the amount can be negotiated.
The same is true if you have differing vehicle estimates. In both bases, cases you can dispute a low estimate and negotiate total loss value. Of course, if your vehicle was deemed a total loss, you likely have other expenses related to your accident. If your accident wasn’t your fault, it is important to know you can receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages in addition to the value of your vehicle.
Here, the best car accident lawyers in New York and California, recommend discussing your options with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as you can to avoid missing filing deadlines for your claim. You need the answers to your questions after your crash, including the question of whether you can negotiate a total loss value.
Negotiating Total Loss Value
While you can negotiate on your own with an insurance company for a higher value for your vehicle, it is not an easy task. To negotiate successfully you will need evidence to support your claim, and this is where having an expert car accident attorney on your side can help.
In an accident in which your vehicle is deemed a total loss, the amount offered depends on the terms of your policy. The policy will either pay fair market value or the replacement value for your vehicle. Fair market value utilizes a valuation method, like Kelley Blue Book values, to make the calculation based on the make, model, year, mileage, and condition of your vehicle at the time of the accident. Replacement value is an estimated cost for a replacement vehicle comparable to your total loss vehicle.
Keep in mind, “total loss” is not defined by a vehicle that cannot be repaired or is not drivable, but rather a calculation made by the insurance carrier comparing fair market value to the estimated repair costs. Generally, an insurer will declare a total loss if estimated repair costs are more than 80 percent of the fair market value.
If you disagree with the valuation, whether fair market or replacement value and believe the total loss value should be higher, an experienced car accident attorney can negotiate on your behalf to get a higher payout. You’ll need solid evidence (photos, receipts, etc.,) your car is worth more, based on upgrades you have made. It is always in your best interest to have a well-qualified car accident attorney fighting for your rights when you enter into negotiations with an insurance company after a car crash.
Call on The Barnes Firm After An Accident
Following any car accident, especially when you suffer injuries and your car is a total loss, call the expert team at The Barnes Firm for answers to your questions and the guidance you need.
In New York and California, The Barnes Firm will provide a FREE consultation with the top car accident lawyers who can help you negotiate to get the compensation you deserve. Whether you are seeking lost wages, payment of medical expenses, vehicle repairs or replacement, pain and suffering, or punitive damages, The Barnes Firm is here to help you 24/7.
Call (800) 800-0000 for a FREE consultation to discover your legal options.