If you were involved in an auto collision and your vehicle was damaged, a claims adjuster will review the damage and determine what the insurance company will pay to have it repaired. If the cost of auto repairs is more than what your vehicle is worth, the claims adjuster will total your vehicle. This means they have determined the vehicle is a total loss. Instead of offering you compensation to have your vehicle repaired, they will offer compensation to replace your vehicle.
If the claims adjuster believes your car can be repaired, you must take it to a reputable auto body repair shop in West Covina, CA.
How Insurance Companies Determine Vehicle Value
As soon as you file a claim, do your research. Know what your vehicle is worth as you wait to hear back from the insurance company. You can find estimated vehicle value on sites such as Kelley Blue Book.
Many insurance companies will use a 60% repair-to-value ratio. Basically, this means that if the insurance adjuster values your vehicle at $3000 and the auto repairs will cost more than $1,800 the insurance company will most likely total your vehicle. If you can prove that your vehicle is actually worth $5000, the repair costs must be more than $3000 before they consider your car a total loss.
When an Insurance Company Totals Your Vehicle
If the insurance adjuster determines that the vehicle is a total loss, they will send you a check for the value of your vehicle. Your car is then towed to a junkyard.
It’s possible to refute a totaled claim. To do so, you must prove that your vehicle is worth more than what the insurance adjuster valued it at. If you have documentation showing the vehicle was not factory standard and was equipped with extras, such as vehicle enhancements, performance packages, leather seats, etc., you may be able to increase the vehicle’s value. Another option is to contact local auto body repair shops and see if a mechanic can take a look at your car and provide a written estimate that details what the actual cost of auto body repairs would be.
If you’re unable to negotiate with the insurance adjuster who insists on totaling your vehicle, there are other options.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can be invaluable during this time. They can help you argue the value of your vehicle, know what documentation is needed to prove the value, and can negotiate with the insurance company, if you do not want to have your vehicle totaled or the claims adjuster did not accurately value your car’s worth.
Loss of Use Damages
If your vehicle was damaged in an auto accident, you’re entitled to recover damages for loss of use. If the insurance company totaled your vehicle, they may be forced to reimburse you for the cost of a rental, until your vehicle has been replaced. The same goes for a damaged vehicle. If your vehicle was severely damaged, but not totaled, if you rent a car, the insurance company must pay for the cost of your daily rental.
The rental receipts can be used as documentation that proves your loss of use damages. In most cases, you can rent a vehicle that is of comparable value to the vehicle that was totaled or damaged. For example, if your damaged vehicle was a one or two year old SUV, you can rent another SUV of comparable value. You will have a difficult time receiving compensation for a luxury car rental if the vehicle that was damaged or totaled was an older model of significantly lesser value.
Diminished Value Claim
If your vehicle was damaged in an auto accident, its resale value will most likely be less than what it was before the accident. You can pursue compensation for your vehicle’s diminished value, which is the difference between what the resale value of your vehicle is after an accident compared to its resale value if it had a clean title with no accident history. There is a three year limit for diminished value claims in California. Your personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim for diminished value, along with other damages for your claim.
Finding the Right Collision Repair Shop in Orange County
Proper collision repairs from an experienced auto body repair shop is essential to vehicle dependability and safety. To ensure you go to a mechanic that’s skilled and able to provide quality work, do your research and only choose an auto body repair shop with good ratings and a reputation for offering fair prices and excellent customer service.
Below, you’ll find a list of the top-rated auto body repair shops in West Covina. Each shop in this list earned a reputation for its quality workmanship, excellent service and affordable rates.
- Detroit Auto Body, Inc.
Rating: 5 Stars
The collision industry experts at the Detroit Auto Body, Inc. earned incredible reviews and top marks for their high-quality automotive repair services, experienced and courteous staff, excellent communication, and quality workmanship.
521 N Second Ave, West Covina
2. 2020 Autobody Tech
2020 Autobody Tech comes highly recommended by local West Covina residents. The team at Autobody Tech earned an excellent rating for its extremely professional customer service, fast and reliable mechanical repairs services, and for a team that goes the extra mile to ensure the entire process is smooth and expedient.
19130 East Walnut Drive North B-E, Rowland Heights
3. Caliber Collision
At Caliber Collision, you can expect excellent customer service and affordable repair rates. The friendly customer service team at Caliber is helpful, thorough, and happy to answer any questions you may have.
433 E San Bernardino Rd. Covina, CA 91723
4. Service King
Rating: 5 Stars
At Service King, the team is professional and provides quality auto body repairs at prices that are affordable. This shop has extensive experience handling complex collision repair jobs and insurance claim estimates.
153 East Arrow Hwy., Glendora, CA
5. VMS Auto Body Collision Center
VMS Auto Body Collision Center provides excellent customer service and has a team of experienced repair mechanics. Staff are very helpful and can work with you during the claims process, providing written statements and communicating with the insurance company or your personal injury attorney, as needed.
1101 N. Azusa Ave Ste A1
6. Crash Champions
Rating: 4.5 Stars
If you’re looking for an auto body repair shop that provides fast repairs, has an experienced collision repair team, and offers affordable prices, the mechanics at Crash Champions deliver.
131 W Dexter St, Covina
7. Seidner’s Collision Center
Rating: 4.5 Stars
At Seidner’s Collision Center in West Covina, clients can expect an extraordinary repair experience. Customers will appreciate the collision repair center team that regularly updates them on the progress of the repairs, the shop’s reasonable rates, and fast service.
2525 E Workman Ave, West Covina
Save All Documentation for Auto Body Repairs
When you take your vehicle to a repair shop, always make sure you get an estimate. Before any repairs begin, the shop must provide an estimate that shows the estimated cost for parts and labor.
After the repairs have been completed you’ll receive an invoice with the final price for parts and labor. If you’re filing an auto insurance claim you will need to give your attorney and the insurance company copies of these documents
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible Following a Collision
If you believe your vehicle should not be totaled, or if you want to have your vehicle repaired but you’re arguing with the insurance claims adjusters over the true value of your vehicle, it’s time to contact a personal injury attorney. Working with an accident lawyer can ensure an insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you by determining a lower vehicle value than what you know your vehicle is worth. Insurance adjusters are difficult to negotiate with. It’s a frustrating, time-consuming process. If you don’t have experience negotiating or you’re unfamiliar with personal injury law and property rights, hire an experienced accident attorney. .
Schedule a Free Case Strategy Session at Lem Garcia Law
At Lem Garcia Law, we offer free case strategy sessions that allow potential clients to meet with an attorney, one-on-one to go over their case, ask important questions, and learn what their legal rights and options are. If you’re being treated unfairly by the insurance company and the claims adjuster is not offering fair value for your vehicle, contact us today to schedule your case strategy session and let us help you fight for the compensation you deserve.