When a car is damaged in an accident, the two (2) most common sources of payment to repair or pay the value of the irreparable car are: a “collision claim” against the damaged car’s insurer or a “property damage” claim against the at-fault car’s insurer. In both situations, it may be almost impossible to know exactly how an insurance company determined the value of your car after a car accident in NY.
According to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), state law requires the insurance company to either pay the actual cash value (ACV) or a specific payout amount included in the applicable policy for automobile physical damage total loss claims. Most policies rely on ACV and use proprietary industry formulas to put a value on a vehicle after an accident.
The ACV of a car should be the replacement cost of the vehicle plus any sales tax owed, per New York statutes. They will, however, in the case of a “collision claim” against the damaged vehicle’s insurer, take out any deductibles you owe and fees owed to the loan holder before paying you.
In This Article
- Understanding the Factors That Contribute to Your Car’s Value
- Negotiating a Higher ACV After a Car Accident in NY
- Let an Attorney Help You Understand Your Car Accident Case
- We Provide Several Services to Build Your Case
- Calculating Other Damages Will Increase the Value of Your Case
- We Will Pursue Wrongful Death Damages If You Lost a Loved One
Understanding the Factors That Contribute to Your Car’s Value
The question to ask of yourself is, how do insurance companies determine the value of my car after a car accident in NY? While insurance companies generally use an industry formula to put a value on your car following an accident, we know many of the factors that are a part of this formula.
Your Vehicle’s Unique Factors Affect Its Value
The insurance company will gather information to plug into their computer program to help their adjusters put together an offer for you. These factors often include:
- Your car’s age
- Make and model
- Options packages
- Past repair work or previous accidents
- Upgrades or dealer add-ons
- Location of where the insurance policy is held (For example, the value of a car in Upstate New York may differ significantly from the value of that same car on Long Island.)
In some cases, the adjuster will search your area for similar vehicles with comparable wear and tear before making an offer. Your payout should theoretically allow you to purchase a very similar vehicle and pay sales tax on it.
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Negotiating a Higher ACV After a Car Accident in NY
It’s important to understand how insurance companies determine car value. It is also important to know that the insurance company is likely prepared for you to reject their initial offer. You do not have to accept their offer until you do your own research and understand the value of your vehicle and what it will cost you to replace it.
If you believe their offer is too low, challenge their valuation of your car. The Insurance Information Institute (III) provides information on how to determine your car’s value, which includes doing market research. Collect documentation of the value of your car by identifying cars for sale at local dealerships, looking up your vehicle in the Kelley Blue Book, and taking other steps to prove the true ACV of your vehicle before the accident.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Advocate for Appropriate Compensation for You
If you have a car accident attorney, they will explain how insurance companies determine the value of your car after a car accident in New York. Should you decide to hire an attorney from our firm, our legal team will explain the way you can obtain your own comparable sales of your vehicle to increase the determined total loss or actual cash value of your vehicle.
If the insurance company does not cooperate with your compensation demands, we will explain other avenues to resolve your property damage claim. Personal injury lawsuits allow plaintiffs to pursue more compensation than what insurance policies might allow. So, if you suffered other damages as a result of personal injury besides just the property damage to your vehicle, we believe you should strongly consider retaining our firm to file a claim or lawsuit against the appropriate parties. Should you decide to hire our firm, our legal team will take effective action on your behalf.
Let an Attorney Help You Understand Your Car Accident Case
A car accident lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., will evaluate your Nassau County, Suffolk County, or Greater NYC car accident case for you. We will meet with you anywhere on Long Island or in New York City to discuss your case for free. We will help you understand:
- If your injuries are serious enough to pursue a fault-based claim
- When and how to file a claim with your no-fault insurance provider
- How to pursue compensation for your property damages including repair or replacement of your vehicle
Once you have an understanding of your legal options and decide to work with one of our personal injury lawyers, we will start building your case and keep you updated as it moves through the claims or litigation process.
We Provide Several Services to Build Your Case
When we take on a car accident case, we do the following for our clients:
- Keep you updated on your case: We will notify you whenever new developments occur for your case, whether that involves telling you about investigation results, court notices, or settlement offers you receive.
- Processing: We will process insurance paperwork and other related documents
- Identify liable parties: Our team will conduct our own investigation to identify who may be held liable for damages and whether more than one party might be liable. Should multiple liable parties exist, we will guide you on whether you should file multiple actions or target specific parties based on the evidence you have.
- Communicate with all parties for you: To protect clients from accidentally making statements that weaken their cases, our attorneys speak on their behalf. Should an insurance adjuster, defending attorney, or law enforcement officer reach out to you for a statement, you can refer them to our attorneys, and we’ll handle those communications for you.
- Gather evidence: During our investigation, we will collect as much evidence as possible. Evidence might include video footage, witness testimony, expert witness testimony, photographs, and accident reconstruction analysis.
- Determine a value for your case: Our legal team will go over your damages to reach an estimate of their financial worth. We consider both economic and non-economic damages when calculating your case’s value.
The insurance companies will not have your best interests in mind, so it is important to understand your rights and what you may be entitled to collect. We will negotiate a settlement of the property damage claim with the at-fault party’s insurer based on the comparative negligence laws of the State of New York.
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Calculating Other Damages Will Increase the Value of Your Case
We will also build a case against the at-fault motorist and pursue additional damages on your behalf when possible. You may qualify for different types of damages, such as:
- Past and future medical care costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement or permanent disability
If you had to face other financial expenses, such as rental car fees, or your injuries affected your life in different ways (e.g., your relationships or personal independence), we will include those damages when calculating how much compensation to pursue on your behalf. Once your case settles, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation, so our team aims to be as thorough as possible when estimating your case.
We Will Pursue Wrongful Death Damages If You Lost a Loved One
If your loved one passed away in a car accident in New York, please accept our deepest condolences. We understand this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we will help you by pursuing and working tirelessly to recover wrongful death damages to the full extent allowed by the law. Our team understands the privilege we have to advocate for surviving families, which is why we want to win the compensation you need and the justice your loved one deserves.
Wrongful death damages may include:
- Loss of consortium
- Lost parental guidance
- Funeral expenses, including cremation or burial expenses
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of society
- Medical debts left behind from the decedent (the deceased party)
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney in NY
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our car accident attorneys will advocate for you and help you pursue the payout you need following a car accident in Nassau County and Greater NYC. We offer free case reviews, and you owe us no attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation in your case.
We will take the time to help you understand your rights and situation, including the strength of your case and your legal options. We have multilingual staff who speak Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada. Should you need language assistance during your consultations, they will explain your case to you in your preferred language to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
Call today for your free case evaluation and consultation. We will meet you at the hospital, in your home, or another location convenient for you.