What happens to the vehicles after an accident depends on the severity of the damage. If the damage is not too expensive to repair, the cars go into the body shop. If the repairs cost too much, then the cars go to the insurance company’s salvage yard.
After you have been in a collision, your car is a vital piece of evidence to show what happened. A skilled investigator can collect information from a wrecked vehicle that can make or break your case. Time is of the essence. Call the attorneys at Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation.
Who Will Want to Look at My Car After a Crash?
Everyone who has “skin in the game” will want to see your car; in other words, everyone who was in the accident, their insurance adjusters, and their lawyers. In some situations, we bring additional parties into the lawsuit, and they may want to take a look at your vehicle. For example, if we are alleging that your airbag was defective, the car manufacturer and the maker of the airbag will want to see the car to verify the facts. If someone might have to pay damages to a party, or they want someone to pay for his or her losses, they will want to examine the vehicle.
What Do Investigators Do When They Look at the Car?
Every side’s investigator will look for and document all evidence that will tend to prove their client’s case. If a car struck you from behind, our investigator would photograph the exterior and interior of your car to show the amount of damage to the vehicle. The point of impact photos will be important to show where the collision occurred on your car and the relative position of the vehicles.
If the other side denies that your car sustained damage, the photos will serve as proof for your case. Our investigator takes close-up photos to demonstrate the detail of any damage, as well as photos of the overall vehicle to place where the damage is relative to other areas of the car, whether the airbags deployed, and any other relevant information.
What Do Adjusters Do When They Look at the Car?
The adjusters have a different goal than our investigator has. Insurance adjusters determine what parts of the car sustained damage, and how much it will cost to repair the vehicle. Sometimes it would cost more than the depreciated value of the car to repair it.
The Insurance Company Wants to “Total Out” My Car. Should I Let Them?
If it would not be worth it to fix your vehicle, the insurance adjuster might declare the car a total loss, and offer you a check for its depreciated value. There are two down-sides to this situation. One is that a check for the depreciated value of your car will not buy you a new car. We will read your auto insurance policy to determine if you have any coverage that will provide you the full value of your car.
The second pitfall of accepting a check for your totaled vehicle is that, when the company pays you for your car, they then own it. It does no good for an insurance company to collect a bunch of junked cars, so they sell them, often as scrap metal. If our investigator has not yet had a chance to examine and photograph the car before the insurance company junks it, we will be missing significant evidence for your claim.
Will an Accident Reconstruction Expert Need to Take a Look at My Car?
Yes. When there is a dispute as to what caused the wreck, how fast vehicles were traveling, or any other facts of the case, an accident reconstruction expert can examine the cars and the scene of the accident. She can then calculate the path of each vehicle and plot out, point by point, what happened before, during, and after the impact. You should not let anyone destroy the car, in case we need to use an expert to reconstruct the accident.
Will We Need to Keep My Vehicle if it Had a Defect?
Yes. Many factors can cause a wreck. Driver negligence, adverse weather or road conditions, and vehicle defects can all contribute to accidents. If there is a reason to suspect that some part of your car may not have functioned correctly, we need to keep the vehicle as evidence of the defect. Sometimes it is possible to remove the alleged defective part, such as tires, without saving the entire car.
We can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the malfunctioning part if its malfunction either contributing to causing the accident or made your injuries worse than they otherwise would have been. For example, bad brakes can result in a collision, and an airbag that does not deploy in time can lead to more severe injuries that should have occurred under the circumstances. Without the vehicle or at least the part in question, we will have a hard time proving the liability of the manufacturer. It is best to keep the entire car, in case the defendant claims some other part was defective and caused the accident.
If you sustained injuries in a wreck that was not your fault, call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733, and we will line up your free consultation.