One of the most frequently asked questions received by the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Zevin & Rosenbloum deals with totaled vehicles. The insurance company responsible to pay property damage claims will decide whether or not to fix a vehicle once it has been damaged. Normally, if the vehicle can be repaired for 80% or less of its fair market value, the vehicle will be repaired. If the vehicle cannot be repaired for 80% of its fair market value, the vehicle will be deemed a total loss. In the event that your vehicle is deemed a total loss, the insurance company will pay you the fair market value on the date of loss. Often, our clients are pleasantly surprised at the value placed on their vehicle. However, if you are not pleased, you may speak to one of our attorneys, who will use sophisticated software to determine whether the value determined by the insurance company is reasonable.
Many times, our clients ask if they can keep their totaled vehicle. Most of the time, the insurance company will allow our clients to keep their totaled vehicle, but will subtract the salvage value (normally 10% of the fair market value) from the amount offered. In that situation, our client must give their title to the insurance company in return for a check, and must then go through the process of obtaining a salvage title from the State of Georgia. In order to receive a salvage title, the vehicle must be inspected to determine if it is safe to drive on the roads of our state.
Receiving a rental car when your car is totaled
Under Georgia Law, when an automobile accident occurs, the at-fault party (or the at-fault party’s insurance carrier) must pay to repair our client’s vehicle and provide a rental car for the period of time the car is being repaired, or, if the car is deemed a total-loss, the at-fault party must pay the fair market value of the vehicle on the date of the loss. Accordingly, the law does not require rental cars when a vehicle is totaled. However, most insurance companies will offer a rental car until the value of the vehicle is determined (normally around five days or so).
The car accident lawyers at the Atlanta office of Zevin & Rosenbloum do not handle property damage only claims. However, if you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident and have questions about your property damage claim, call or contact us today.
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