The aftermath of a car accident will leave you asking, “what’s next?” Between insurance claims, medical bills, and property damage, there are a lot of costs and steps to consider.
Usually, compensation covers property damage and medical bills. However, with a solid attorney on your side, you can seek more compensation to make you whole again.
Here’s what you need to know about hiring an auto damage car accident lawyer in Houston.
What Kind of Attorney Do I Need for Car Damages After a Wreck?
Ideally, you need a specialized auto accident attorney on your side. An auto accident attorney has ample experience working with insurance companies and advocating for clients’ rights. Compensation parameters can vary, and you’ll need someone that has experience dealing with several factors that determine how much money a car’s value is worth after an accident.
Fair Market Value vs. Repair Cost
There are usually two avenues for handling property damage to a car. You can opt to be paid for the repair cost or for the fair market value of the car. Insurance companies will utilize a ratio between repair costs and ‘totaling’ the car. Essentially, at some point, the cost of repairing the car will exceed its worth.
The law entitles owners to full compensation, whether it is the fair market value or the repair value. If the case goes to court, a jury will decide which value to award. Typically, a jury will award the fair market value if the repair costs exceed the car’s value.
How Do You Determine Fair Market Value?
The car’s value can be determined through third-party businesses, like the National Automobile Dealers Association. These sites allow research and comparison of dealerships to see similar used car prices.
Another option is to research used cars in the area to find similar models and makes of vehicles. The fair market value will be the price someone is willing to pay. For example, if a similar vehicle sells for $5,000 in your area, the fair market value will be around $5,000.
What Are Repair Costs?
After an accident, your insurance company will value the damage and estimate how much to give you for repairs. However, you do not have to accept this estimate. They may also give you a list of preferred repair sites, which you are not required to follow.
If you have a preferred repair shop or want to visit a certified dealer for your type of car, you can do that. However, if you want to dispute the estimate given for the repair, you will need to provide estimates from other mechanics. Providing multiple opinions will show the insurance company an accurate picture of the actual repair costs.
A repaired car will have diminished value. You are entitled to the diminished value, which is the loss in value after the repair.
On top of compensation for property damage, an injured party can receive compensatory damages based on Texas law. These are designed to make you whole again or return you to how you were before the accident as much as possible. These can include:
- Medical Bills
- Therapy, Including Ongoing Physical Therapy
- Lost Wages/Income
- Lost Future Earnings
- Pain, Suffering, and Mental Anguish
If You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Car Wreck In Texas, Call Auto Accident Attorney Joe Stephens Now.
Receiving a settlement offer or court award that fully captures the aftermath of an auto accident is a trying journey. Insurance companies will seek to make a quick settlement offer. However, a quick offer may not fully capture the extent of your damage and injuries. That’s why you should work with an attorney like auto accident attorney Joe Stephens. Get in touch with The Stephens Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help you on the road to recovery.
Unfortunately, the Stephens Law Firm does not handle personal property damage only lawsuits. However, If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, you could hire any auto wreck law firm in Katy, or you can hire a a Houston lawyer that focuses on car wreck litigation. Joe Stephens has been defending injury victims in Texas for over 3 decades from negligent individuals, companies, and greedy insurance companies. As a client focused car crash lawyer in Katy, TX, Joe handles all cases personally, and his staff is always available to answer questions.
The Stephens Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers handles auto accident lawsuits across Texas, including these Houston cities.