If your car has been damaged or destroyed as the result of a car accident in Maryland, there’s a good chance you’ll be reimbursed the fair market value of your car, SUV, or other vehicle. The courts like to send a message when it comes to motor vehicle accidents – especially for those people who behave recklessly. If they want to damage or destroy an innocent person’s car or SUV, they need to face the consequences. For example, let us assume that the defendant was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. In addition to demanding punitive damages, your car accident lawyer in Laurel will also demand damages equal to the fair market value of your vehicle. We suggest you contact our office right away to schedule your free, initial consultation.
Has the Insurance Company Determined That Your Vehicle Was Totaled?
After your car accident, the insurance company is going to expect a mechanic to appraise the damage to your vehicle. In fact, the insurance company will usually send their own appraiser to determine how bad the damage to your car really is. If they believe it would cost more to fix your car than it would to replace it, they’ll determine that your vehicle has been totaled.
By finding that your car or SUV has been totaled, the insurance adjuster is saying that your car cannot be fixed. They will give you a check for the fair market value of your car at the time of the crash. If, however, your claim isn’t approved, all they will do is state what they believe the car was worth at the time of impact. You can use this information when you and your Laurel accident attorney file your initial complaint. In the section for damages, you are required to list each and every demand you plan to pursue in court. If your vehicle was destroyed in the accident, you can include a demand for the fair market value of your vehicle in the damages section.
Your Laurel Accident Attorney Still Needs to Prove Fault
Just because your car was destroyed in the accident, that doesn’t automatically mean that the defendant was at fault. Your car accident lawyer in Laurel still has to prove negligence on the part of the other driver. To do this, they’ll need to prove the following four things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty
If your lawyer can prove all four things, there’s a good chance the defendant will be held negligent in the accident. Once you prove negligence, you can move on to determining your specific damages.
You Can Only Demand the Fair Market Value for Your Vehicle at the Time of the Crash
Some of our clients think that their Laurel accident attorney can demand money for a new car. That isn’t the case. Even if your car was only a few days off the lot at the time of the crash, it still won’t hold its original value. Once it has been hit by another vehicle, the value of your car will have decreased once again. When your car accident lawyer in Laurel prepares your personal injury lawsuit, they will demand that you be compensated for the loss of your vehicle. What they will do is find out the value of your car by checking with the Kelly Bluebook people. Whatever information they use to determine your claim’s value will more than likely include a Kelly Bluebook assigned value for your car. This will be equivalent to the current day value.
The Defendant Does Not Have to Compensate You for a New Car or SUV
Even if the court finds the defendant liable, they will not be required to compensate you for the cost of a new vehicle. All they will have to pay is the fair market value of your car or SUV at the time of the accident. Your Laurel accident attorney will have to look up the most recent value assigned to your car by Kelley Bluebook. They can always demand more than this amount, but the odds of getting more than the FMV are small.
Your Laurel Accident Attorney Will Do Their Best to Get You the Compensation You Deserve
The only reason people hire a Laurel accident attorney is so that they can be compensated for their injuries. If someone is involved in a car accident, the first thing they do is file a claim with the insurance company. If the insurance carrier approves their claim, they’ll receive their settlement check within a week or two. It’s only when your claim is denied that you call and schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Laurel. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Why else would you hire a lawyer if your claim was already paid?
One thing you may be disappointed to hear is that the defendant isn’t required to compensate you for a new vehicle. Even if your car or SUV is destroyed in your car accident, that doesn’t mean the other driver has to buy you a new car. All your Laurel accident attorney can do is demand compensation equal to the fair market value of your vehicle at the time of the crash. You can use this to put a down payment on a new car. Or you can use it to fix the car that was totaled. Just because the car is deemed useless by the insurance company, that doesn’t mean the car doesn’t hold sentimental value for you.
Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, you should call today and set up a date and time to come in. Sit down with one of our seasoned car accident lawyers in Laurel, Maryland. They can answer any questions you may have and ask a few of their own. If they feel your case has merit, they’ll be willing to take your case.