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Category Archives: Property Damage

Car Accident: GAP Coverage Claim “Already Closed”

By | Insurance, Auto, Property Damage | No Comments

I just settled my property damage claim with the other driver’s insurance company. They “totaled it out.” I still owe $4,000 on my car and my insurance company told me that they had already “closed” my GAP coverage claim. What should I do?

First off, good thinking getting GAP coverage. Most people don’t have it and when they’re in a car accident end up owing more on their car than it’s worth.

Your first step should be to contact your insurance company and tell them to “reopen your claim.” All this takes is a phone call to get your claim started.

Should I settle my car accident claim? I’m still hurt

By | Personal Injury, Property Damage | No Comments

Yes and no.  You can go ahead and try to settle the property damage claim.  But, you should wait until you are through treating to try to settle your personal injury claim.

Remember that you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for a car accident.  Your first priority should be to get the proper medical treatment you need.

Most people don’t realize that your car accident claim is two distinct claims.  So, it’s okay to settle the property damage claim and to wait to sign anything for your personal injury claim.

Should I get a second estimate on my car?

By | Property Damage | No Comments

I had a new client ask this recently:

The adjuster came out to my house and did a full write up.  His estimate for the property damage is $2500.  Do you think it’s necessary for me to take my car to an auto body shop to get an estimate?

Of course!  Insurance adjuster estimates are generally, but not always, low.  You certainly don’t want to settle the property damage claim, and then take the car in just to find out it’s going to cost a lot more.  Insurance adjusters are human too, so even if they had good intentions, they could have missed something on your car.

Auto Accident Claims: Personal Injury vs. Property Damage

By | Personal Injury, Property Damage, What's my case worth? | No Comments

Most people don’t realize that two [main] claims stem from car accidents:
1) Property Damage Claim
2) Personal Injury Claim

Insurance companies will generally settle the property damage claim within the first month after the car accident. The main reason is that the car accident victim is entitled to reasonable expenses for a rental car. Insurance companies don’t want to let a big car rental bill run up. Note that the insurance company doesn’t have to pay for your rental car up front. They only reimburse you later, which is a hassle if you can’t work due to the auto accident.

The personal injury claim on the other hand can often take over a year to complete. It’s very unwise for the injured claimant to settle the claim before finishing treatment (you won’t know the full extent of your bills and injuries). The claim can also take a longer if a lawsuit needs to be filed. Some insurance companies make it their “standard procedure” to wait until a lawsuit is filed before they will even make a reasonable offer.

Oklahoma Auto Accident – Small Property Damage Only

By | Property Damage | No Comments

What should I do if I’m in an auto accident and the insurance company for the guy that caused the wreck won’t pay the $3,000 to fix my car? I wasn’t hurt in the accident.

You should file a small claims lawsuit. In Oklahoma County, small claims are for $6,000 or less. The Oklahoma County Court Clerk – Small Claims Department is located at 320 Robert S. Kerr Avenue, 4th Floor, Room 409. Remember to watch out for any statute of limitations issues.

Do you owe more on your car than it’s worth?

By | Insurance, Auto, Property Damage | No Comments

It seems like several times a week I meet with someone that was just in a car accident that owes more on their car than it’s worth.  Under Oklahoma law, the person that caused the accident does not have to pay what you owe on the car, but the fair market value of the car (assuming it was totaled).  How can you help protect against this scenario (and be stuck with car payments and no car!)?

Check out GAP Insurance.

Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance pays the difference between the actual value of the car and the remaining balance on the loan.  Assuming the premium isn’t too high, it’s worth considering adding to your policy.