Accidents: How Damage to Your Car Affects Your Case’s Value

Car Accident Attorney Tennessee
By Junior Libby [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]
Stillman and Friedland are experienced Nashville accident attorneys!

In today’s post, we will explain the significance of property damage to the value of your case. It is one of the interrelated key factors in determining the compensation you will receive. Another component is your medical treatment. As we discussed previously, a key portion of your case is the amount of medical treatment (not overtreatment) you receive. Today we will discuss the amount of damage your vehicle sustains.

The easiest item to put a fair price tag on is lost wages, because there is a fixed income amount either based on salary or historical earnings. The most difficult element of damages, in terms of determining fair compensation, is health and your pain levels. Somewhere in the middle lies compensation for property damage due to collision. Loss is determined by damage or total loss, so that compensation is determined by repair expenses or, in the case that you need to replace the car, it’s fair market value.

In general, people lose out on the property damage compensation. The cost of repairs will not cover loss in value due to damage to the frame, etc. The amount of book value of your old car won’t buy you a comparable replacement car either and a “new” used car may have hidden problems that will not be covered in your settlement. No one ever gets for their car what it is worth to them.

It is important to remember that there is typically a correlation between property damage and the amount of compensation you may receive for your bodily injuries.

The more damage sustained by the car, the worse the physical injuries will be. This is not always the case, but is the rule of thumb in assessing your case as far as insurance companies and juries are concerned.

If your car is totaled or severely damaged, your attorney will find it easier to get fair compensation for your injuries. Again, while that is the general rule, there are exceptions at both ends of the spectrum and some people will walk away unharmed from a major collision and others will have long-term pain after a minor accident.

To get to maximum compensation, it is important to get medical care immediately after the accident.

Conversely, racking up big medical bills if you have only had a fender bender will raise serious red flags to the insurance company that you are jackpot hunting and not really injured.

• We warn clients especially about extensive treatment with care providers who assure you that “insurance will cover it.” If you are in this situation, ask your lawyer if it is likely that your insurance will cover this treatment.

Since Stillman and Friedland has been in this business for many years, we are your best source of advice if you have any questions about compensation during your recovery process. We are always ready to assist you with our expertise.

Because we care…

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