We, as Americans, love our cars. Guys, in particular, remember their first car and the hours they spent washing, waxing and polishing their ‘baby.’ Women typically name their cars and love them too. One time, I went to the hospital where a young man had fractured his bones with rods holding them in place and tubes were all over. I asked the young man, “What is your biggest concern?” Through all the pain, he replied in a tortured voice asking, ” What about my car?” Of Course.
Janie was in my office last week after being injured in a MVA. Besides her injury, her big concern was her beloved pickup truck. It was paid for, well maintained, recently got new tires and there were only some minor mechanical repairs she just paid for. In her words, it was good reliable source of transportation. First and foremost, she needed a car to get to the Doctor and then her job if possible. Here are the issues Janie faced.
First of all, there has to be insurance coverage and claim set up. Either the bad driver’s insurance accepts liability when a determination is made that it is their driver at fault. Or if you have collision, you would need coverage with a rental rider that provides a rental car while your car is being repaired. Usually there is a deductible involved here.
This takes time, so if you have a credit card or the money, go rent a car first and later you will get reimbursed.
Janie did not have the money at the time. I then explained that until they decide whether they want to repair or replace (pay the fmv of her truck ) then Janie can make a claim for LOSS OF USE for each day until they decide what they want to do
So if they decide to repair, they will offer a rental during the repair time.
Do I have to take it to their shop ?
A: No, we live in USA and have the freedom to choose. However, many insurance companies will give a lifetime guarantee on the repairs if you use their preferred provider. The main difference is who will be in business when you need them -the local shop or the insurance company?
As I stated earlier, the law requires the insurance company to do 1 of 2 things- either repair or replace your damaged car. This is because they are paying, one way or the other. They get to choose, you cannot force them to spend $5 ,000 or $10,0000 to repair a $2,000 car because your favorite uncle gave you the car.
It they choose not to repair because the repairs are close to ,equal or exceed the value of the car, then they must pay you the “Fair Market Value” of your vehicle. Think of the concept this way: if you sold your car on the open market the day before the accident, what would it cost in its condition. Age, mileage, hail dents and interior appearance are all factors.
There are sources to help determine a range of value such as:
-Possibly the local car dealer where you purchased the car ( they would love to help so they can sell another car)
-The internet. It has many sites such as google, e bay cars.com, local newspapers – see what dealers & private sellers are listing prices at and the NADA has a compilation of area used car prices .
Initially, adverse insurance said go to enterprise and rent a car. But when Janie got there, they said car insurance did not give any authorization and she needed $200 in cash to rent a vehicle. Janie did not have that and left without a car.
To summarize; your car ultimately will be fixed or you will receive money to replace it. During that period when you are without a car, you receive a claim for loss of use, which is cost of the daily rental.
I hope this information was helpful and you now know what to expect from the bad drivers.