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Understanding vehicle value following a Florida car accident

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

One of the first components of a Florida accident claim will often be financial recovery for a damaged vehicle. Individuals who carry full coverage insurance will have a claim first with their own company, but ultimately the party causing the accident is responsible for the damage. And, in claims where fault is obvious, the vehicle is commonly repaired or determined a total loss in short order by the insurance provider. The problem is arriving at a proper value of the vehicle at the time of accident.

Insurance claims adjusters always attempt to settle this element of motor vehicle accidents with as little compensation as possible, and many times they will use it to test whether or not the claimant is considering retaining an attorney to negotiate the claim. It is always important to first check the NADA Blue Book for a reference point, but beware that not all cars are actually worth what the book states. The claims adjuster will use this particular point when making the first low-ball offer.

Always have a minimum amount in mind before even considering taking an offer, and never take the first submission because it is typically a settlement suggestion. Repair estimates will control this decision by the insurance company, but it is also a good step to have an independent private evaluation performed as well. Some insurance companies use their own repair specialists while others will actually request the claimant to submit repair estimates.

Even when the vehicle is repaired, the owner is entitled to the diminished value of the vehicle after the fact. This is a misunderstood element of a claim that is usually only included when a claimant has retained legal counsel for negotiating the entire compensation package. Car accident attorneys in Florida will evaluate all elements of the accident claim, including vehicle recovery value, and serve as a professional negotiator throughout the claims process for all compensatory items.

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

Dana Watts is a board certified civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization with more than 30 years of litigation experience. He also received an AV* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

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