1. Ask if the insurance company will pay for a rental car until the property damage has been settled and your car is repaired. They may be obligated to provide this by law.
2. If storage charges are accruing on your car, make arrangement with the adjuster to have your car moved. You may be responsible for a portion of this expense if not dealt with promptly.
3. If it appears that the vehicle will be a total loss, fair market value must be determined. The following sources may be used to determine fair market value.
a. The NADA and Kelly Blue Book
b. Auto Tracks (fee is $35.00)
c. Qualified auto appraiser (fees vary)
4. Ask the adjuster if they can help you find a car similar to yours as a replacement vehicle.
5. You may decide to retain your car in the event of a total loss. Usually a total loss occurs when the cost of repair exceeds 80% of the fair market value of your car. Sometimes it is a good idea to retain your car particularly if it has fairly new equipment, mag wheels, new tires, or if the engine is still good. These items can often be sold individually for more money than the actual salvage amount, which is deducted from your settlement. If you keep your car, the insurance company will deduct the salvage value from what they have offered.
6. If you retain your car to be repaired, and the insurance company has called it a total loss. The title will have to be stamped by the Motor Vehicle Department as "Salvage".
7. If you owe more than your car is worth, with the permission of your lender, it may be possible to purchase a substitute vehicle similar in value to yours.
8. Call an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation regarding these or any other accident related issues.