How much money should I get in a car accident settlement from insurance company?

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How much money should I get in a car accident settlement from insurance company?

I was rear-ended in the car accident and wondering what should I ask from insurance company for “residual loss” after my car is repaired? The damage was estimated $7500 to fix the car at the body shop.

Asked on October 26, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Usually there is no recovery for "residual loss"--the insurer's obligation is to either (1) fix the car, if it can economically be fixed; or (2) pay the then-current (right before the accident) value of the car, often called the blue book value. If a car has been in an accident, even if repaired, it's value is usually reduced; however, insurers don't usually have to make good that dimunition in value.

If you think or have been told your insurer will pay for the difference in value or residual loss (if you have a policy that pays it, you have a good policy), look up--the internet is great for this--what the car, given it's age, make, model, mileage, etc., would have been worth just pre-accident. Then get a sense for what that car, after an accident, even if repaired might be worth. The difference between the two is the residual loss.


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