Alpharetta Property Damage Attorneys
We receive many calls asking if we would help with getting money for a person’s wrecked car. The short answer is most likely, “No.” Not only is it not an effective use of our time, but most people would not be able to pay off their car loans with the money they receive after our fee. And that just does not make good business sense.
Your right to money for repairs or totaling out of your car is called a “property damage” (PD) claim by the insurance companies. When you are involved in an accident in Georgia, you actually have two separate claims – one for your property damage and one for bodily injuries. You can bring separate lawsuits for each. In fact, most insurance companies will open two separate claims and use two different adjusters.
Getting the insurance companies to pay for either repairs or the salvage value of your car is relatively easy and is something you can do on your own without having to involve an attorney. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when handling your own property claim:
- Diminished value. If your car is repaired, you are entitled to diminished value. Diminished value is the amount of money your car decreases in value because it has been in a wreck. When you go to sell your car, the car dealer or buyer can pull a report out of a national database using your car’s VIN number. When they see your car was in an accident, it makes your car worth less. In Georgia, you have a legal right for the insurance company to compensate you for this lost value, but the insurance companies will not volunteer this!
- Aftermarket parts v. OEM parts. When the body shop repairs your car, they can either use original equipment manufacturer parts (OEM) or aftermarket parts. The insurance companies will tell you the difference in quality between the two types of parts is negligible. It is no wonder they say this seeing as how they are substantially cheaper than OEM parts. An OEM part may be twice as much as its comparable aftermarket part. Finally, when you go to sell your car, the buyer/dealer will be looking to see what types of parts you used and will adjust the value of your car accordingly.
- Kelly Blue Book – Use to look up your car’s current value. Useful in determining the “totaled” value of your car.
- Certified Automotive Parts Association – If you decide to use aftermarket parts, make sure they are approved.