Aside from the potential personal injury and related damages that can result from a collision, often the inconvenience of not having your own transportation is the most frustrating result of an auto accident. Needing to arrange rides to work, rental cars and similar ways to stay mobile, is often a major factor in many property damages cases being settled for less than their potential maximum compensation value.
Insurance companies are aware of the frustration that most victims face in these situations, which is why many insurance company policies allow the insurer to have up to 30 days to:
- pay or deny the insurance claim, or
- make an offer on the vehicle, or
- to let you know that they are still investigating the situation
As with many other states, North Carolina car crashes can often leave a vehicle so damaged that it cannot be driven away from the scene of the accident. Following a collision, a representative from the insurance company will determine if the cars involved in the wreck are able to be economically repaired, or if they will require extensive repairs that exceed the existing resale value of the vehicles.
If your vehicle or the vehicle of your loved one was damaged in a North Carolina auto collision, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the cost of repair and other associated expenses. There are a number of areas where insurance adjusters can cut corners during the vehicle repair process, which they often look at very closely to help minimize the damages that they have to pay out.
To find out if you are eligible to receive compensation for damages that have been caused to your property by someone else, it’s wise to contact a reputable law firm to ensure that all of your options are thoroughly explored.
Our property damage attorneys can be reached by completing the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.
Loss of Use Claims
After suffering property damage, auto collision victims usually need an alternative mode of transportation. In North Carolina, this is even more important due to the lack of passenger public transport infrastructure. In light of this, car wreck victims can file a “Loss of Use” claim, which is also commonly known as rental reimbursement. A Loss of Use claim allows accident victims to seek compensation for car rental fees incurred while their vehicle was being repaired.
Quite often, insurance companies will refuse to provide funds for a rental car until they have investigated the accident. The costs to accident victims for the use of a rental car may be eventually be reimbursed by the insurance company involved once they have determined that the crash was caused by another’s drivers actions, but unfortunately, this in not always the case.
Rental vehicle reimbursements may come with limitations on what is covered and what is not. With this in mind, it is important to have dependable legal counsel during your auto claim process, to ensure that you are receiving the full value amount for damages incurred to your vehicle & / or property.
ALWAYS remember that the insurance company representative is NOT “your friend”. They are specifically trained to extract information from you, and that information can be used against you in a court of law. Therefore, before accepting any offers from an insurance provider – or before signing any waivers (often known as a “Property Damage Release”) – it is VERY important to speak with an experienced property damage lawyer, to ensure that your best interests are catered to.
North Carolina “Total-Loss” Car Accidents
When a car is declared a total loss, it means that the cost to repair the vehicle is equal to 75 percent of the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle. Once this determination has been made, the insurance company will need to establish what they will pay you for your vehicle. This is true whether it is the victim’s own insurance provider or that of the negligent party.
Insurance companies are required to furnish you with the ACV of the car upon settlement of the claim. Also known as the fair market value, the ACV is the likely amount that another person would reasonably pay for the vehicle. Once your vehicle has been declared a total-loss, it is important to provide the insurance company with as much information as possible that would increase your vehicle’s fair market value. This includes all improvements made to the car, such as a new engine, new tires, etc.
Contact a North Carolina Property Damage Attorney
At Lewis & Keller, our lawyers and staff receive many inquiries regarding car accidents and property damage. Our compassionate and experienced property damage attorneys are well-versed in North Carolina law and have the skills and resources necessary to successfully prepare and litigate your property damage claim.
For more information on the legal rights available to North Carolina auto accident victims or to find out if you have a case where you may be eligible for compensation, contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.
Simply fill out complete the Free Case Evaluation!