Was your vehicle completely totaled in a car accident? Even if you received compensation from your insurance carrier, chances are they underpaid on mandatory charges such as sales tax, registration, license plates and state title for your replacement vehicle.
Depending on the value of your vehicle, a total loss accident can range from a devastating collision with other vehicle(s) to striking a deer. In either case, getting enough compensation from the insurance company to cover repairs can be a challenging issue. Chances are that the insurance company will either refuse the rest or underpay you.
What to Do If You Are Underpaid
If you were underpaid, even though you fulfilled all the legal and regulatory steps required to complete your claim, you can dispute the value by taking certain steps. During this time, you may be without a vehicle, which can be very stressful. Some insurance companies will try to take advantage of your emotions and situation by underpaying or failing to pay. You can try and negotiate with the insurance company or you can sue them. However, regardless of the path you take, you need to gather substantial evidence to disapprove the insurance company’s claim. Often, compensated amounts can be low – compared with the total claim settlement amount, which are overlooked during this emotional time for you.
This means you need to collect evidence which proves your vehicle was worth more than what your insurance carrier claims. The best proof would be pictures of your totaled vehicle, as well as proof of any upgrades were made before the accident because these will affect your vehicle’s final value.
The most important thing to do is to take pictures of your vehicle before the insurance company claims it. If they have already claimed your vehicle, the only way you could reclaim it is if it only sustained hail damage and is operational or if it is nine years old or older.
After collecting proof of your claim, hire a qualified appraiser outside of the insurance company who give their professional opinion on the actual amount your totaled vehicle is worth. This can be used as evidence in court and depending on the results of the appraisal, you can either increase the settlement or file a lawsuit if the insurance company still refuse to pay any outstanding amount.
Contact Robert T. Edens, a Central Midwest Illinois Attorney
If you or someone you know has sustained a total loss on their vehicle and their insurance carrier paid for the loss out of the policy covering the car, you need an attorney from the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens in your corner. We can advise on how you can hold the insurance company liable for this misconduct. Call us today at (847) 395-2200 for a free, no-obligation consultation in Waukegan, Libertyville or Woodstock, Illinois, today. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate, get in touch with us for aggressive and quality advocacy, which can ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve. In most circumstances, we can do so on a contingent fee basis, meaning there are no legal fees or other lawyer costs to be paid by you.