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Lawyer Explains Property Damage from a Car Accident

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When you are involved in a car accident, it is important to understand that you have the right to compensation for your injuries and property damage.

Lawyer Explains Property Damage from a Car Accident

When you are involved in a car accident, it is imperative to understand that you have the right to compensation for your injuries and property damage. In this article, we will explain how property damage from a car accident is evaluated and compensated.

Cost of Vehicle Repairs

When the car wreck is caused by another person’s negligence, you are entitled to receive damages from the responsible driver. First of all, you are allowed to claim for any necessary repairs your car needs to bring it back to the state it was in before the accident. However, if the repairs cost more than about 70% of the vehicle’s value, then the car is considered a loss and you will receive the total cash value of the vehicle for replacement.

After-Market Parts on Your Car

One thing to keep an eye on is if the insurance company covering your repairs are utilizing previously used parts or ones that are considered after-market; parts that are made by companies not affiliated with the maker of your vehicle. These are how some insurance companies will make an effort to save money and still technically repair your vehicle.

The problem is that these cheaper parts can often be considered inferior to the parts your car actually needs to return to the pre-accident state. Using these parts can also decrease the overall value of your car.

Diminished Value of the Vehicle

Insurance companies aren’t necessarily going to advertise that you are entitled to compensation for your car’s diminished value when someone else hits your car and causes it to be totaled. Your vehicle’s value is likely going to decrease exponentially when it is involved in a collision; no matter how good the repairs are.

Whenever a car’s frame gets damaged, the value is reduced. This value should be recovered from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and be taken care of when you reach a settlement. This diminished value is often calculated by receiving a letter of estimate from a third-party auto appraiser.

Lost Items in the Car and After-Market Additions

It’s also important to consider any items that were inside the vehicle that may have also been damaged due to the accident. For example, when a vehicle is hit from behind, the items inside the vehicle’s trunk may also be damaged and their value has to be compensated during the settlement process.

If your vehicle received after-market additions before the accidents – i.e. custom spoilers, rims and body kits – then you may also entitled to having their respective values added to the final settlement at the end. However, items like new tires may not be recovered since they are part of the vehicle’s bluebook value.

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Over the past two decades, Mr. Willens and his team of Chicago personal injury lawyers have been instrumental in obtaining numerous million-dollar-plus recoveries on behalf of clients in a wide variety of injury cases. One of the personal injury verdicts he was involved in was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the country in the year in which it was tried. One of the verdicts he helped secure set a state record.

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