FAQ's: Your Questions Answered
SUV Rollover FAQs
There are several options for filing claims for damages to a driver’s vehicle but a lot will depend on whether or not you carry Collision Coverage. If you do, you will have the to go through your own insurance to repair or replace your vehicle. If you do not carry collision coverage you will need to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s Property Damage Liability Coverage (PDL). PDL coverage is simply the coverage that pays for damages that you or members of your family cause to other people’s property in the event of an automobile accident. In the state of Florida, it is mandatory that each driver carries a minimum of $10,000 in PDL coverage. Anytime you are the victim of negligent driving that leads to an accident you can always pursue a claim against their PDL.
Unlike Property Damage Liability, Collision Coverage is not a mandatory requirement in the state of Florida. It is, however, highly recommended because it can supplement PDL if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. If you carry Collision Coverage on your policy you have the option of using your own insurance carrier to replace or repair your vehicle. If you are unsure about whether or not you should carry Collision Coverage give us a call at 800-257-1822. Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys are here to ensure that our clients have the necessary coverage so they do not incur out of pocket expenses. As a courtesy to all motorists, our office will gladly review your auto insurance policy and share our recommendations.
Since the insurance company is covering the costs of your vehicle’s damages they choose whether to repair or replace your vehicle, based on which option is cheaper for them. On top of being repaired or replaced, they also have the option to reimburse you for the car’s actual cash value (ACV), or what is more commonly known as fair market value. ACV is the amount of money that your car would have sold for the day the accident occurred. In many cases, the insurance company will total a vehicle if the appraised damages equal 80% of the vehicle’s ACV because more often than not, additional damages or “hidden damages” are found which would render the vehicle a total loss by definition. Keep in mind, fair market value will sometimes be below Blue Book pricing. This can lead to drivers being “upside down” on their car loan which means that you owe more money to your lender than you receive in reimbursement from the insurance company.
When it comes to repairing vehicles, automobile insurance companies are not required to use new parts for the repairs. Their obligation is only to restore your vehicle to the same condition your car was in prior to the accident. A mechanic can use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, and in some cases, aftermarket parts can be used. Aftermarket parts are made by a manufacturer other than the original manufacturer. If your vehicle is being repaired with newer parts, your insurance company doesn’t have to pay for this “betterment.” In fact, if your vehicle’s transmission is five years old and is damaged due to a covered loss, your insurance company would only be required to replace it with a five-year-old transmission. If the insurance company cannot find a similar transmission you can choose to replace the original transmission with a new one, but may have to pay the difference in cost. When you are taking your car to get repaired, it is imperative to know that you can choose which auto repair shop you want to use provided that the repair shop is licensed. Many insurance companies will evaluate the cost of repairing your car independently. The insurance company will then work with the auto repair shop of your choice to repair your car.
If another party was responsible for the accident, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company will be responsible for covering the cost of a rental car while you wait for repairs to be made on your car. Sometimes, you must pay the rental car bill first, with reimbursement coming from the insurance company later.
Call Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys at 800-257-1822. My staff and I consider it an honor to be contacted by the victim of an auto accident, and we are here listen to all of your concerns. Know that we will always be willing to handle your property damage claim at no additional cost to you! Normally, you have many options concerning repairing or replacing your vehicle. These are options that the insurance companies will not always present to you. Before making any decisions, call me today for free legal advice as to how best to handle your Property Damage Claim.