Property Damage After An Accident

How To Handle Diminished Value Claims And Property Damage Claims After A Car Accident

At The Goldman Firm in Atlanta, Georgia, we help clients with property damage issues after an accident. If you've been involved in an accident, even if there were no injuries sustained, you will likely need to file a property damage claim for your car. We can help you understand your options, guide you through the process, and represent you in any related personal injury claim. In many cases, you can handle a property damage claim on your own and the information below can help you navigate the process.

If your car has been damaged in an accident, we can answer any questions you may have while filing your property damage or diminished value claim. Call us today at 404-857-3505 for a free initial consultation with a car accident and property damage lawyer in Atlanta.

Ask Yourself These Questions

Is your car drivable? Immediately after the accident, determine if the vehicle is drivable. If it is drivable, then you should contact the insurance company after speaking with an attorney. The insurance company may want you to take the vehicle to a shop for an appraisal. This is fine but you will want to take the appraisal to your own shop or mechanic for repairs because you want the body shop to work for you; not the insurance company. If your shop finds other damages, they will work with the insurance company to determine the amount to be paid for repair. You do not need to worry about the appraisal being less than you thought because the insurance company and the shop will work it out.

Does it need to be towed? If your vehicle is not immediately drivable, you can have the insurance company tow the vehicle or you can hire your own tow truck to take the vehicle to a place you choose. After the vehicle has been towed, go to the tow yard and be sure to remove any personal belongings and take good pictures of the damage to your car.

Is your car repairable? If your vehicle can be repaired, then you can have it fixed at the repair shop of your choice. In most cases, it is better to have a mechanic you trust work on the vehicle and deal with the insurance company for you. You are also entitled to a rental car if your car is repairable. You are entitled to rent a comparable vehicle to the one that you had. For example, if you have a truck, you will not have to rent a subcompact vehicle. If your car is repairable and drivable, you should not get a rental car until repairs are approved and the car is in the shop. Be sure to wait until the shop has the parts necessary and is ready to begin working on your vehicle.

Is your car's value diminished but repairable? If your car or truck is worth less because it has been in a wreck, you are entitled to the difference between the value before the wreck and the value after the wreck. Once your car is repaired, send the insurance company a copy of the final repair receipt and ask them to make you an offer. When you receive an offer, call our firm to discuss your options because the insurance company will make a low-ball offer every time to limit their liability. We can help you negotiate and receive full and fair compensation for the reduced value of your vehicle.

Is your car totaled? If your vehicle is totaled, then you are owed the market value of the vehicle, taking into consideration the options, mileage and pre-wreck condition of the vehicle. If you are unhappy with the amount that the insurance company is offering for your car, it is negotiable. Do your own market research to provide evidence of the value of your car. You may want to look at websites, such as AJC.com, Autotrader.com or the Kelly Blue Book website, and advertisements for vehicles comparable to your own.

If you have your own coverage, you can deal with your own insurer or you can choose to deal directly with the other driver's third-party carrier. If you are dealing with your own insurer, you may have a deductible. However, you will be able to get this back later when your insurer pursues compensation from the third-party carrier. Also, you will be entitled to a rental car right away if your car is not drivable.

If You Have Not Been Paid For Damage To Your Vehicle

If you are not paid for the property damage to your vehicle, you have rights. Under Georgia law OCGA sections 33-4-6 and 33-4-7, you may be able to bring a claim for bad faith and other penalties. We can help you understand your rights under the law and pursue compensation for the damage to your property.

Contact Us Today To Talk To A Car Accident Lawyer In Georgia

If your vehicle has sustained damage in a car accident or other motor vehicle crash, we can assist you. Contact us through e-mail or call us at 404-857-3505 today to schedule your free initial consultation.