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Who Determines the Value of My Car After a Car Accident in NY?

The insurance company that will cover your claim will put a monetary value on your car replacement if it cannot be repaired following a car accident in New York. This calculation is known as the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle. The insurance company will put a value on your vehicle—the value of the car in the moments just before the accident—and make an offer in this amount to you.

It is important to remember that you are unlikely to receive the full amount of this offer. If you are filing a claim with your own insurer (a “collision claim,”)  the insurer will take out any deductible you owe and any payments you still owe on the financing of the vehicle. The insurance company will pay the car loan company before you see any payout following a car accident case.

Factors Used to Calculate Car Value After an Accident

Insurance companies use industry formulas to determine the ACV of a vehicle following an accident. If the cost of repairing the vehicle is more than 75% of its value, the insurance company will likely consider it as a total loss in New York.

The insurance company, whether it is your own, as mentioned above, in a “collision claim,” or the insurer of the at-fault party in the accident, (a “property damage claim,”)  will look at many details about your vehicle and determine if they will make an offer and if so, how much that offer will be. The factors they will consider include:

  • Year
  • Make and model
  • Mileage
  • Options package
  • Dealer add-ons
  • Improvements or upgrades
  • Any past claims or repairs

It can be difficult to determine the precise methodology a car insurance company has used to calculate the ACV for your car. In many cases, they will look at comparable vehicles for sale nearby to gauge how much it would cost to buy a similar vehicle. New York law also requires insurers to include the sales tax of your vehicle in their offer.

Insurance Company’s Offer for Totaled Car Can Be Rejected

If the amount of money offered by your insurer cannot replace your vehicle, you can reject it. You can challenge their totaled car value by researching and negotiating an offer that is reflective of the make, model, and mileage of your car.

Conducting your own research will involve you going to local car lots or searching online to find cars for sale at dealerships that closely match yours, including options, mileage, and other details. You can also use other resources like Kelly Blue Book to prove the possible value of your vehicle. If you have new tires or other upgrades, presenting receipts or other documentation could increase your offer. 

Working with an attorney can make this process easier. An experienced car accident attorney can guide you through a claim for auto damage, whether it is a collision claim against your own insurer or a property damage claim against the at-fault party’s insurer.  Once you are satisfied with your determination as to your car’s value, we can assist by negotiating a property damage settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer. 

Your Attorney Can Help Determine Your Car Value

If you work with one of our car accident attorneys after your New York accident, in addition to assisting you with your claim for damage to your car, we will focus on your bodily injury claim and prepare your case to pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible.

We will: :

  • Keep you updated on your case
  • Identify liable parties
  • Communicate with all parties for you
  • Gather evidence
  • Determine a value for your case

We can assist you in your pursuit of a payout that will repair or replace your vehicle and if you suffered serious injuries, we will prosecute a claim against the insurer of the at-fault driver.

If hired, along with your property damage claim, we will fight to win payment for your medical care, lost wages, and other losses.

Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in NY About the ACV of Your Car

If you suffered injuries and property damages in a car accident in Suffolk County, Nassau County, or Greater New York City, an attorney from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. can review your case for free. We will explain your eligibility to pursue a fault-based claim and help you understand your legal options outside of the state’s no-fault system while protecting your rights.

We have a multilingual staff who can talk with you in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, or Kannada, if you prefer. Call us today at (516) 932-0400 for your free case evaluation with a member of our car accident team.

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