If you have been in a car accident, there is a good chance your car was damaged. If your crash was a minor fender-bender, it may only cost a few thousand dollars to fix your car. Sometimes, when there is only cosmetic damage, all you have to pay is your deductible. However, what are you supposed to do if your car was destroyed in the accident? Our Irvine car accident lawyers have represented hundreds of people over the years who found themselves in this situation.
No matter how much they loved their car, there is nothing to do to get it back. While the insurance carrier will release the vehicle to them, if it was declared totaled, you won’t have a clean title on the vehicle.
Here, we will discuss the ways in which your accident attorney in Irvine will determine the fair market value of your car. If you still have questions about your car accident, give our office a call. We can schedule your free, initial consultation with an experienced Irvine car accident lawyer.
There Is a Good Chance Your Car Was Damaged or Destroyed in the Crash
Depending on how serious your car accident was, your car was likely damaged or even destroyed in the crash. In most cases, the damage to your vehicle is minor. You take it to the mechanic and they fix it up for you. You then take the bill from the mechanic and give it to your Irvine car accident lawyer. This way, they can include this bill in your damages.
If your car was destroyed in the accident, that’s a different story. Typically, the insurance company will let you know that your vehicle has been totaled. They will tell you what amount they will give you for your car. Usually, they give you the fair market value for a vehicle in poor to fair condition. This is the case even if your car was in pristine condition.
One of the problems is that some vehicles have been customized. If you invested a lot of money into your car, you should expect to be compensated for its true value. This is one of the reasons you should hire an Irvine car accident lawyer. They will fight to make sure you get the amount you deserve.
Most People Use a Source Like Kelley Blue Book to Ascertain the Fair Market Value of Their Vehicle
When it comes to determining the fair market value of your vehicle, it’s a good idea to consult Kelley Blue Book. This is the go-to site to get the true value of your vehicle. Your Irvine car accident lawyer will enter all of the specific details about your car into the program. It will then give you a fair market value for your car or SUV. It will give you a different amount depending on whether your vehicle was in poor, fair, good, or excellent condition.
Usually, the insurance carrier uses Kelley Blue Book to determine a car’s value as well. The difference is that they usually give you a bare-bones estimate. They don’t know your car the way you do. For example, if you have special features or upgrades, you can enter these into the valuation portal. The insurance company isn’t going to do that. This can make a big difference in the fair market value of your car or SUV.
What if Your Car Is a Classic Car?
One thing we run into from time to time is clients whose cars were not your run-of-the-mill automobiles. Our Irvine car accident lawyers have represented people who rebuilt cars from scratch. For example, a client may have restored a 1956 Cadillac Convertible.
They lovingly applied a new coat of paint and dropped several thousand dollars into the engine. They have taken the vehicle to car shows and it has even been featured in auto magazines. It wouldn’t make sense to get the value for this kind of vehicle from Kelly Blue Book.
In cases like this, our accident attorneys in Irvine approach things differently. We will ask our clients to give us copies of any receipts for parts they have put into their vehicle. They may have receipts or invoices for work they had done to the car. For example, if they got a premier paint job, it may have cost them $4,000 to $5,000.
When you add up all the money our clients put into their cars, it may be two or three times as much as the Kelley Blue Book value. Usually, the defendant balks at this and refuses to pay the full amount. It ends up being something our Irvine car accident lawyer negotiates when discussing a settlement of your case.
Your Irvine Car Accident Lawyer Will Ensure You Are Fairly Compensated for Your Car or SUV
If you’re like most of our clients, your car is your prized possession. You don’t want anyone to touch it. Nobody can eat or drink in your car. You certainly don’t let anyone drive it. This is why it can be frustrating and, dare we say it, heartbreaking to see your car destroyed in an automobile crash.
Our Irvine car accident lawyers meet with clients every week whose vehicle was damaged or destroyed in a motor vehicle accident. When they come in to see us, one of the first things they ask us is whether we can make sure they are fairly compensated for their car or SUV. While we cannot guarantee that you’ll get exactly what you believe your car is worth, it will be close.
Your Irvine car accident lawyer will submit whatever documentation they can find to ensure that you get a fair market value for your car. If you drive a muscle car or a classic car, it will be a lot harder to prove its value. Just trust that your Irvine car accident lawyer will do whatever it takes to make sure you are fairly compensated.
We suggest you call our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with someone who has handled dozens, if not hundreds of cases just like yours. Not only do our accident attorneys in Irvine know the law, but they also know how to deal with insurance companies.
That’s why you’re better off if you have an attorney by your side. You can bet the defendant will have a team of lawyers representing them. You need to have someone in your corner as well. Since the consultation is free, you really have nothing to lose.