Being in a car accident is a traumatic life event. Even if you do not suffer serious physical injuries, you must deal with the hassle of having your vehicle repaired and dealing with the insurance company for the other driver. Depending on the severity of the damage to your vehicle, the insurance company may agree to pay for repairs or it may total your vehicle. If your vehicle is totaled, it is important to understand how the insurance company settles your property damage claim.
How Does The Insurance Company Decide When A Car Is Totaled?
Kentucky has specific laws related to whether a car is totaled or repaired after a car accident. Under Kentucky law, a vehicle is considered totaled is the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds 75 percent of the fair market value (FMV), also referred to as the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle.
To determine the market value of your vehicle, the insurance company will likely use a trusted resource that provides the value of a vehicle based on the year, make, model, condition, and features. Two companies that are used widely in the insurance industry are the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) and Kelley Blue Book (KBB).
Who Pays For My Vehicle After A Car Accident?
If the motor vehicle accident is your fault, your insurance company will pay for the repairs or pay you the FMV of the vehicle only if you have collision insurance. Collision insurance covers your vehicle if it is damaged in a car accident that is your fault or a collision with a fixed object such as a tree, light pole, or building.
Collision coverage has a deductible that you must pay. In other words, you are responsible for a certain amount of the damage to your vehicle. If your deductible is $1,000, you will pay the first $1,000 in repairs then your collision insurance will pay the balance.
If you have a loan on your vehicle, the lender will require you to have collision insurance. However, if your vehicle is lien-free, collision insurance is optional. Beware, if you do not have collision insurance and the motor vehicle accident is your fault, you will be responsible for the full amount of the repairs.
On the other hand, if the other driver is responsible for the collision, his or her insurance company should pay for the repairs or pay you the value of the vehicle. There is no deductible for you to pay if the other driver is at fault. However, the insurance company will try to pay the lowest amount possible. You must be very careful to do your own research to determine if the amount the insurance company is offering is the actual fair market value of your vehicle. Don’t’ assume the amount being offered by the insurance company is correct — check the value of your vehicle yourself before signing a release.
Contact a Lexington Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, our Lexington car accident attorney can help you settle your property damage claim as well as your injury claim. Contact the Shelton Law Group by calling 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. Your initial consultation does not cost you anything; therefore, there is no reason not to get legal advice before you deal with the insurance company.