Cars are important modes of transportation. They don’t just get us from point A to point B. They help people maintain their mobility and independence. We also rely on our vehicles for everyday conveniences, like getting to and from work, school, or the grocery store. One of the most expensive parts of a car accident, other than medical costs, is the cost associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle. While you struggle to heal from your injuries, you may also be having a difficult time making it to doctor’s appointments and navigating everyday situations.
After a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve the full and fair value of your vehicle’s repair costs or the replacement value. Are you sure that an insurer will give you what you deserve? If you have questions about the cost of your vehicle’s repair or replacement value, contact an experienced St. Louis attorney with -firm-name] today.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our St. Louis car accident lawyers want to make sure that you are getting the compensation you deserve after a car accident. We strive to accurately estimate the value of your claim, investigate the cause of the accident, and negotiate with insurers on your behalf.
For a free case evaluation, call us at (314) 963-9000. We can discuss the details of your case and advise you of your legal options for recovering compensation to cover your car repair or replacement costs.
Calculating the Value of Your Car Repairs
Calculating the damage to a car after an accident should be simple. In practice, this rarely seems to be the case. If you are filing an insurance claim for compensation, the insurer will need to know how much the repairs to your vehicle are going to cost. You may have the option of taking your vehicle to your own mechanic or using a shop recommended by the insurer. Many insurers have a list of repair shops they work with regularly.
The mechanic should provide you with an estimate for the cost of repairs. You can then submit this estimate to the insurer. However, if the estimate from your own shop is higher than what the insurer’s shop would pay, they may not be willing to pay what your garage is charging. Many insurers prefer you use someone in their “preferred network.”
If you disagree with the amount that the insurer is willing to offer, you may be able to negotiate with them for more compensation. Providing them with more information about the repair costs can help support your claim. In some situations, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the costs of your vehicle repairs.
Repair Versus Replacement
Sometimes it is not economically feasible or mechanically possible to repair a vehicle. If a vehicle cannot be safely repaired, an insurer can declare the car a total loss. Damage to the frame of the vehicle is one of the most common reasons to deem a vehicle a total loss. Frame damage can compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle. This damage can make the car unbalanced and unstable and lead to significant part failures down the road. Frame damage is also extremely expensive to repair and is generally not worth the cost.
If the costs associated with repairing the vehicle exceed the value of the car, an insurer can also call the vehicle a total loss. Missouri has a total loss threshold of 80 percent. That means that the cost of repairs plus the salvage value must be at least 80 percent of the vehicle’s actual value if it is no more than six years old. Typically, an insurer will offer a fair market rate for the vehicle and then take possession of the damaged car. To arrive at the fair market value, an insurer will consider the mileage and pre-collision condition of the car.
Missouri follows a pure comparative fault model when it comes to addressing compensation in court. Pure comparative fault means that the amount of money you can recover after an accident is related to your percentage of fault for causing an accident. If a person is ten percent at fault for causing a collision, their compensation is reduced by ten percent. Even at-fault drivers can recover compensation under this rule. A driver who is 90 percent responsible for an accident can recover money. However, their total compensation will be reduced by 90 percent.
This rule binds Missouri court decisions. It also heavily influences how an insurance adjuster will value a person’s car insurance claim. While calculations can be made as to the actual value of a claim, fault for the accident can play a major role in influencing the total amount of compensation a person may be due for their car repairs or replacement.
Getting in touch with an attorney is the best way to understand the potential value of your claim. An attorney can review your repair costs and help calculate the value of your vehicle pre-crash. In addition, an attorney will have the resources to investigate the circumstances of the accident and collect evidence to establish fault and strengthen your claim. Finally, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf for the money you deserve.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC for Help with Your Car’s Repair and Replacement
Vehicles are expensive pieces of equipment. Being without reliable transportation can be a tremendous financial burden, but so can the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand that you rely on your vehicle and need fair compensation for its repair or replacement. If you are not confident that an insurer is giving you a fair deal, contact our team today.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we want to help you gain the compensation you deserve after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact our office today by calling (314) 963-9000 and setting up your free and confidential legal consultation. Let us help you negotiate for what your car is worth.