VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hello everyone, this is Robert Mansour. We get a question here a lot at the office about property damage when it comes to personal injury cases. Now my office generally represents people who have serious injuries from automobile accidents. Sometimes the issue of property damage does come up and clients need some guidance. Here is the deal. Either they're going to fix your vehicle or they're going to offer you the amount of the total loss value of the vehicle. If your vehicle is a total loss, they're going to offer you the fair value of your vehicle, of what it was worth the day of the accident before you got hit. They're not going to give you enough money to go buy a new car. If that was the case then everybody would go get into a car accident and hope to get a new car.
Basically, if you are not being offered something fair for your vehicle, let's say they're offering you $9000 of your vehicle but you think it's worth $11000. Well if you are dealing with your company or another person's company, you need to give them reasons to offer you more. You can't just call them and say, "Hey, I want more money." That's probably not going to carry the day. What you really want to do is you want to provide them with evidence. You want to go online and search for the same type of vehicle you had, same year, same millage or as close as you can to it and try to find valuations for your vehicle. You can also try Kelley Blue Book, you can also try edmunds.com. There are a variety of valuation resources now.
Truth be told, most insurance companies do not rely on anything like Kelley Blue Book. They use outside 3rd party companies that evaluate the vehicle based on comprehensive research of the vehicles in your area, comparable vehicles in your area and also some other valuation metrics that these other companies use. Now, if you don't agree with the valuation, you need to provide your evidence to the insurance company. Send it to them. Send them a cover letter explaining why you think you should be offered more on your vehicle. You need to be able to back up your assertion with actual evidence. Now will that always work? Not necessarily. If you were still not being offered enough for your vehicle, really the only option after that is to perhaps hire a valuation expert. There are people out there who are experts in evaluating automobiles.
Now, generally speaking, a good expert will charge you anywhere from $500 to $1000 to conduct a full evaluation and appraisal of your vehicle. If you're only squabbling over a few $100 with the insurance company, it doesn't make sense for you to spend that kind of money hoping to recover roughly the same amount. Basically you might want to get an expert involved if there is a huge disparity or at least an appreciable disparity between what you are being offered and what you believe your vehicle is worth. I hope you've found this video to be helpful. Thank you very much for watching. If I could be of any service to you for your personal injury case, please don't hesitate to contact my office. Thank you very much.
If you need help after a serious car accident, give us a call at (661) 414-7100. Robert serves Santa Clarita and its surrounding communities of Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and beyond.
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by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,