What Should I Do After an Accident in a New Car?

What Should I Do After an Accident in a New Car?

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What Should I Do After an Accident in a New Car?

Recovering from a car accident requires you to treat and rehabilitate any injuries, as well as request compensation for financial losses. If you damage your new car in an auto collision, you might have to deal with an insurance company that over-calculates the value of the depreciation associated with the new car. To avoid having an insurance company undervalue an insurance claim, you need to know what to do after an accident in a new car.

Filing an insurance claim that gets approved by an insurer requires the submission of physical evidence, such as copies of medical records and a copy of the formal police report. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing claims, especially when it comes to calculating the value of a damaged new car. Before you file an insurance claim, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case in detail.

Since 1988, the team of personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan has helped clients recover more than $20 billion in compensation that covers the cost of lost wages, medical bills, and repairing property damage. Whether you need help submitting an insurance claim or litigating a case by filing a civil lawsuit, Morgan & Morgan is here to provide unwavering legal support. If a car accident involved a new vehicle, we make sure your insurance company offers a reasonable settlement that covers the costs of your financial losses.

Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the highly-rated car accident attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What Should I Expect After a New Car Accident?

    Did you know that a new car depreciates in value the second it leaves a dealership lot? How much a new car depreciates depends on the formula used by insurance companies. By the end of the first year, a new car can lose between 20 percent and 30 percent of its original value. From the second year to the sixth year, a vehicle loses around 15 percent of its value each year. According to data released by black Book, a new car loses nearly 60 percent of its initial value after five years.

    Another issue to resolve concerns the definition of a new car. The definition of a new car can mean a motor vehicle that has not recorded a sale or had a title issued. A new car can generate dozens of miles if the vehicle is used for the purpose of test drives for potential buyers. The criteria for defining a new car can differ between two auto dealerships that do business across the street from each other.

    Some states such as New Jersey protect consumers that purchase new motor vehicles. Lemon laws cover a legally defined period or a designated number of miles. Ask your personal injury attorney about whether your state has passed a lemon law that protects consumers against defective new cars.

  • What Does Diminished Value Mean?

    Diminished value represents a term to describe a decrease in the value of a vehicle after it suffered damage caused by an auto accident. Even if a dealership restores your new car to mint condition, it loses some value after an auto collision. Diminished value is the difference in the value of a car before and after a car collision.

    Insurance companies typically calculate three different types of diminished value.

    Immediate Diminished Value

    Immediate diminished value is the difference in value right after a car accident but before mechanics repair the motor vehicle.

    Inherent Diminished Value

    Inherent diminished value is the most common type of diminished value used by insurance companies to calculate a vehicle’s worth. This type of diminished value refers to a decrease in value because of a vehicle’s damage history, which you can discover by reading the vehicle history report.

    Repair Diminished Value

    Insurance companies use repair diminished value for claims that include inferior repairs to the damage caused by an accident. Some of the repair issues that can arise include mismatched paint, poor reconstruction of a brake system, and the installation of low-quality parts. Insurance companies refer to repair diminished value when a vehicle cannot be restored to mint condition.

  • How Do I File a Diminished Value Claim for a New Car?

    If you were involved in an auto collision and the other party is legally liable for causing the crash, you should file a diminished value claim for your new car as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait to submit a diminished value claim for your new car, the more your new car decreases in value.

    Filing a diminished claim for a new car can be more complex than filing any other type of insurance claim. By working with a personal injury lawyer, you can file a persuasive claim in a timely manner. First, you check the insurance company’s guidelines for filing a diminished value claim. Second, you and your legal counsel collect and organize evidence, such as the photos that were taken at the scene of the auto collision. Evidence includes the original value of your vehicle as confirmed by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). Third, demonstrate the diminished value of your car by receiving an appraisal from a certified professional. Finally, meet all the claim conditions as established by the insurance company reviewing your diminished value claim.

  • What Should I Do After a New Car Accident?

    Knowing what to do after an accident in a new car can help you file a convincing insurance claim, as well as a civil lawsuit if your personal injury lawyer determines you have a strong enough case to move forward with litigation. The first thing to do is to stop your vehicle and position it in a safe place away from traffic. You should never drive away from the scene of an auto collision, even if the crash appears to be minor.

    Protect Yourself and Others

    Moving your car to a safe location is just one way to protect yourself and others after a new car accident. You prevent further injuries and property damage by setting up flares around the perimeter of the accident scene. If you have stored a flashlight in your emergency kit, use it if the accident occurs at night.

    Call Law Enforcement

    Calling the nearest law enforcement agency accomplishes two things. First, law enforcement ensures the scene of the accident remains undisturbed. Second, law enforcement conducts a thorough investigation that eventually leads to the submission of an official police report. The report completed by law enforcement represents the most important document you file with an insurance claim.

    Describe What Happened

    One or more law enforcement officers conduct interviews with the parties involved in an auto collision, as well as witnesses that saw what unfolded before, during, and after the crash. When the time comes for you to describe what happened to a law enforcement officer, remember not to speculate or embellish on any of the facts pertaining to the accident. If you do not know all the facts, explain that to the law enforcement officer conducting your interview.

    Take Photos

    A forensic evidence specialist or one of the responding officers should take photos of the accident scene. However, you should use your phone to capture images of the accident scene as well. The submission of the formal police report might take weeks from the date of the collision, which means taking photos and storing them on your phone allows your personal injury attorney to get a head start on investigating your case.

    Exchange Information

    The responding officer should obtain the names and contact information of every party involved in the new car accident. However, you should do the same that includes acquiring the names and contact information of the insurance companies representing the other parties. You should not contact any insurance company until you have spoken with a state-licensed personal injury lawyer. 

    Get Medical Care

    If you sustained serious injuries, move this step to the top of the list. Otherwise, you should seek medical care at this point even if you feel healthy. Some symptoms of injuries do not develop until days or even weeks after a car accident. Examples of injuries that trigger delayed response symptoms include whiplash and concussion. Receiving medical care provides you with documentation of your injuries, which includes the results of diagnostic tests and the type of physical therapy that is required to return you to full health.

    Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

    Auto collisions involving a new vehicle introduce several complex legal issues a personal injury lawyer has to address. Determining the diminished value of your damaged vehicle is just one of the complex issues introduced for a new car accident case. You also get help filing the paperwork required by the insurance company reviewing your claim. If the other party committed one or more acts of negligence, your legal counsel might have enough evidence to file a civil lawsuit.

    Calculate a Value for an Insurance Claim

    You file an insurance claim for more than the repairs required to restore your motor vehicle. In addition, you also want to be compensated for costs associated with your medical care. Suffering serious injuries caused by a car accident can run your healthcare costs into thousands of dollars. If your legal counsel can establish fault, you might qualify for economic, non-economic, and/or punitive damages. Recovering from the financial losses produced by an auto collision is the most important goal achieved by the team of personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.

  • Take Action Today

    Timing plays a significant role in determining the success of an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit. Each state has established a statute of limitations for the filing of personal injury lawsuits. Most states have set the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit between two and four years. You also have to submit an insurance claim within a certain period. One of the personal injury litigators from Morgan & Morgan ensures you submit all the proper legal documents before the appropriate deadlines.

    Know what to do after an accident in a new car by scheduling a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer at Morgan & Morgan. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay upfront legal fees for us to handle your case.

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