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Mullins & Blake Attorneys

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(479) 358-1998

A Roadmap To Resolution

Torn paper with "SETTLEMENT" on US dollar billsThe Onset Of A Property Damage Claim

If the other driver’s insurer has accepted your claim and is willing to cover the repair of your vehicle, congratulations — this is the situation we hope for, and it’s optimal, albeit rare! In such cases, understand the following key realities:

  • Choice Of Repair

You have the liberty to choose the repair shop of your choice. You do not have to seek service from an approved shop by the insurance company. Your shop will then coordinate with the insurance company for payment and handle any necessary supplements for additional damages uncovered in the initial investigation.

  • Accepting An Offer

If you’re satisfied with the offer, acceptance is a positive step. However, if we’re representing you, it’s important for you to understand and agree to the offer before accepting it. Along the way, we’re here to review offers with you so that you can be confident you are receiving the most compensation for all your losses.

While our role is to fight for you, it also involves providing advice to make certain the insurance company isn’t attempting to undervalue your claim in any way. This ensures that your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for your property damage claim. Settlement in an auto accident claim in Arkansas can appear straightforward, but isn’t always as it seems. This is a big reason why we like to go through everything with our clients rather than them making a decision on their own.

If you’re not satisfied, we always advise that you need to meet proof with proof. If the offer on your car doesn’t meet your expectations, we will help you work on finding additional evidence that demonstrates the value of your car is higher than they’re assuming. Once we compile this proof, we can present it to the insurance company in an effort to secure a more favorable resolution. In cases where this approach doesn’t lead to a satisfactory outcome, you can pursue legal action in court.

Total Loss And Fair Market Value

A car is deemed a total loss when the cost of repairs — both in parts and labor — exceeds 70% of the car’s fair market value. For example, if your car is worth $10,000, and the repair cost is $7,000 or more, it is considered a total loss. In these cases, the insurance company is obligated to pay you the fair market or actual cash value of your vehicle in the state it was before the accident.

Insurance companies commonly use databases like Kelley Blue Book or NADA, which provide publicly available information about the used car market, to determine the fair market value. These databases are regularly updated to reflect changes in the market.

The condition of your car at the time of the accident is a crucial factor in determining the fair market value, as it significantly influences how adjusters and nationwide databases determine its fair market value. Vehicles in less favorable conditions typically incur deductions, resulting in a lower fair market value, while well-maintained vehicles may receive a higher valuation.

However, if there are deductions based on information that is not pertinent to your car, we can contest those details during our review with you. By presenting additional evidence, we aim to dispute irrelevant deductions and work towards getting the offered amount increased.

If you and the adjuster initially can’t agree on the market value, our role as your attorneys comes into play. We too have access to Kelley Blue Book, NADA, and other vehicle market value databases, which allows us to quickly assess if an adjuster’s valuation is accurate. If there’s a significant discrepancy, we can print off the information, submit it to the adjuster, and work to understand and address any differences.

This process involves scrutinizing deductions for factors like older tires or incorrect deductions for pre-existing damage, correcting any inaccuracies, and working to secure a more accurate and favorable offer. It all begins with a thorough comparison of the numbers provided by both parties.

For more information on Settlement In An Auto Accident Claim In AR, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (479) 337-7077 today.

Mullins & Blake Attorneys

Call Now To Learn More About Your Legal Rights
(479) 337-7077