In this video, a South Carolina car and motorcycle accident attorney describes how the auto insurance process works to fix or replace your damaged vehicle. While it's not always easy, it's usually the easiest part of your claim, and you can probably handle it without a lawyer.

But there is an exception we address here. And it can be really hard and complicated to get the insurance company to settle your injury case from a serious crash- that's where an auto accident lawyer can do you the most good.


Let's talk about one of the first questions many crash victims ask: “What: “Do I do about repairing or replacing my vehicle?” that's actually two questions. Welcome to the complicated world of auto insurance claims. So let's tackle the first question which is which insurance do I file with? You can file with your own insurance or the at-fault drivers. If you file with your own insurance you might get it done quicker because you're their customer and they want to make you happy, but your recovery could be limited by your policy and you'll probably pay a deductible. Now if you file with the at-fault drivers insurance you'll be dealing with an adjuster who's not on your side. still most insurance companies settle property damage claims without the need for a lawyer but you can't count on that for your injury case and there is an exception: when punitive damages are involved, which we'll talk about in a minute.

So let's talk about the second question which is, “What does a property damage settlement cover?” You may be eligible for the cost of repairs or if your vehicle is totaled, meaning it's totally destroyed or the cost of repairs exceed its fair market value, you can get a check for the fair market value of your vehicle on the date of the crash. A good source for estimates on that is Kelly Blue Book, you can find it on the internet. You might also qualify for loss of use for the time while you don't have a car while yours is getting repaired or replaced. An estimate for that can be how much it costs to rent the same or a similar vehicle. you could also qualify for depreciation which is the reduction in value of your vehicle as a result of repairs. Now in rare cases you might get punitive damages but that's reserved for some of the worst driving, usually criminal. If your car gets red by a DUI driver you might qualify for those but you can expect a big fight from the insurance company on that and you'll probably need a lawyer to get you the best shot at getting those. Our firm handles these cases a little bit differently than your typical car crash you can call us to find out how.

So if you've been involved in a serious accident handling the property damage may be the easiest part of your claim but you don't have to go it alone you. Can call us or send us an email or live chat to answer your questions and make sure your rights are protected. I thank you for thinking about this with me and I hope I see you soon.

Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.