Who should pay?
The driver who causes an auto accident is responsible for the harm he causes. In car wreck cases, harm usually comes in the form of property damage and bodily injury. The driver’s auto insurance company has employees who are responsible for “handling” claims for the insurance company. The employees are called insurance adjusters.
Who is “the adjuster”?
The responsible driver’s insurance company will assign one insurance adjuster to the property damage claim. A different adjuster will be assigned to any injury claims. The property damage adjuster will determine what amount to give you for the damage to or loss of your vehicle. She will also determine whether you should get a rental car.
What is the adjuster’s job?
It is important to remember that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. The insurance company pays her salary. Her job is to resolve claims in the best interest of the insurance company. An adjuster will often say, “It is our policy to . . . “
What factors complicate the process?
The law requires the responsible party to pay for the damage caused by their insured driver regardless of their internal policies. However, some of the laws that relate to property damage and injury claims are tricky. Health insurance, third party payors, liens, and other issues complicated the process. It gets even more complicated when there is more than one insurance company involved. This issue often arises when your vehicle is totaled, when you need a rental car, or when there is more than one driver at fault.
What about Property Damage?
You may be able to handle the property damage component of your claim yourself. The insurance company should pay the cost of restoring your car to its pre-accident condition. If your car was totaled, you can determine the value through various on-line auto valuation sites. If the damage for your car was greater than 25% of its value, then it must be reported on the vehicle title and you may have an additional claim for deminution in value.
Should I take care of the Property Damage myself?
Although you can handle the property damage claim yourself, we prefer to take care of it for our auto injury clients. The laws can be confusing. The adjusters have greater knowledge and experience than most people do in dealing with these types of issues. In addition, it is always hard to know if you are being treated fairly unless you deal with these claims frequently. Normally, we do not charge a fee for handling this part of an auto injury case.
Who should I call?
If you have questions about your property damage or car rental after an auto accident or injury in North Carolina, pick up the phone and give us a call. We work with people from Charlotte to Wilmington, North Carolina. If we cannnot help you, we may be able to refer you to a good lawyer in your area. You can also chat with an operator 24/7 about your case.