How Las Vegas Insurance Companies Value Property Damage on Your Wrecked Car

May 6th, 2010 by Farhan Naqvi in Car Accidents

You’ve been involved in a car crash in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Boulder County, or some other part of Nevada and, on top of suffering a serious injury, your car is totally wrecked. What should you do? How do you get a rental car? Who will pay to repair your car? These are all very important questions and you deserve answers.

car, accident, Las Vegas, Summerlin, Clark County, Nevada, injury, injuries, wreck, crashFirst and foremost, you should understand that the insurance company will view the property damage claim on your wrecked car and your personal injury claim as two separate claims. Nevertheless, you should not discuss your injury claim with the property damage claim adjuster.  Why? Because even though these adjusters work in different departments, they work for the same insurance company. This means, if you divulge sensitive information, it could be used against you in the personal injury claim process.

But before you file an injury claim, you need to get to your home, apartment, or hotel. This is where getting a rental car comes in to play. You have three options when trying to get a rental:

(1) Contact your insurance company to see if you have rental car insurance and then have them arrange getting the rental car for you. They’ll probably use the subrogation clause of your insurance contract to get reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This is usually the quickest method of obtaining a rental car.

(2) Wait until the at-fault driver’s insurance company opens a claim and accepts liability (i.e. responsibility) for the accident. This takes longer. In fact, it could take weeks.

(3) Rent a car with a credit card and seek reimbursement once liability is accepted by the at-fault driver. The problem with this option is that you expose yourself to being on the hook for the rental car if the at-fault driver is uninsured or denies liability and makes you go through a lengthy litigation process.

What happens if your car is totally wrecked and can’t be repaired? Well, unfortunately, Nevada law does not require payment of “replacement value” just “fair market value.” This means you’re at risk of receiving some compensation to purchase a new vehicle, but it’s not enough to replace the real value of your wrecked car.  This presents a problem since some people owe more on a car than it is actually worth.  This may mean you have to make payments on a totaled car. A solution to this problem is to carry GAP insurance. This type of insurance will pay any remaining balance on your loan if your car is wrecked. I would recommend purchasing this insurance if you are making monthly payments on a car.

If you’ve hired a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim, feel free to discuss your property damage claim (you have attorney-client privilege so no worries about sharing sensitive information) and see what your legal options are to ensure maximum compensation.  We assist all our clients with their property damage issues free of charge.


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