Automobile Damage: Who Decides Whether a Car is Repaired or Replaced?

Typically, this significant decision rests with the insurance company. They will usually make this choice based on cost – whether it costs less to replace the vehicle or less to repair the vehicle.

If it’s less expensive to replace the car, your insurance company will declare your vehicle a “total loss” and will purchase your vehicle for its market value. There are several sources that can be used to estimate the “fair market value” or the “actual cash value” of your car. One widely used source is the Kelley Blue Book. You can also use your local newspaper or the Auto Trader, which may list the sale prices of vehicles of a similar make, model and year as yours. In certain cases, an expert appraiser may be brought in by the insurance company to more accurately assess the value of your vehicle.

Whatever source is used, you are entitled to recover the fair market value of your vehicle as it was immediately before the auto accident. You will then receive a settlement check, which you can use to purchase a new vehicle or pay off the wrecked vehicle’s loan.

However, if you wish to keep the wrecked vehicle, you may purchase it back from the insurance company for its salvage value. The insurance adjuster will then deduct the salvage value from your settlement amount.

Many times, though, an insurance company will decide to repair the vehicle instead of replacing it. If you’re concerned about the safety of the repaired vehicle, please contact the skilled Phoenix auto accident lawyers at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. to discuss your options. Our dedicated lawyers have been helping inform car accident victims of their legal options for many years. We have the knowledge and resources to help you make the best decision in your specific situation. Call Breyer Law Offices, P.C. today at 602-978-6400 for a free consultation.

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