Appraising the Damage Sustained by a Vehicle in an Accident

by Christopher Hoffmann on Jul. 01, 2014

Accident & Injury Bed Bug Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: Among the most important steps in making an insurance claim is getting an appraisal of the cost of the damage sustained by the vehicle.

Following a car accident, your automobile insurance company may make an appraisal of the damage itself or require the vehicle owner to obtain an approved appraisal as part of the insurance claim. It may be necessary to make a separate appraisal of damages if the vehicle owner considers the estimate to be unreasonable in order to challenge the value that may be considered too low and use the data during the negotiations for the insurance claim.

Evaluation of the Vehicle

Owners are entitled to receive reimbursement for repairs made on a damaged vehicle. The automobile insurance policy will provide the necessary coverage and deductibles, among others. On the other hand, the automobile insurance company is required to visually assess the damage on the vehicle to begin the process of establishing the cost for repairing the vehicle. The insurance policy will provide the coverage in this particular situation. A reasonable automobile accident estimate will be provided by the adjuster based on the damage and coverage of the insurance policy. The automobile insurance company has no legal obligation of accepting a higher automobile accident appraisal.

After speaking with an attorney, a vehicle owner may become involved and collaborate with the adjuster during the evaluation process if they were involved in an automobile accident. It is understandable for the vehicle owner to go with the claims adjuster while the damage on the vehicle is being evaluated. Although it is essential that all damages are reported to the claims adjuster, extensive damage on the vehicle may classified as a total loss. When the vehicle is classified as a total loss, it means that the damage was so extensive there is no value left on the vehicle anymore. It also means the loss will require the automobile insurance company to pay the maximum amount indicated on the insurance policy

Vehicle Classified As A Total Loss

When the vehicle is considered a total loss, the automobile insurance company is not required to repair any damage sustained by the vehicle. It will not matter if the vehicle has sentimental value for the vehicle owner. However, they are required to make an offer to assess the fair market value of the damaged vehicle. The fair market value is determined by the price the vehicle would be sold under existing market conditions, prior to the vehicular accident.

Eventually, it may be cost-effective to pay for the lower appraisal value rather than delay the decision and end up in a court battle. When the judgement will not favor the vehicle owner, he or she will have to pay for the cost of litigation aside from the damages as well as an attachment on his or her bank accounts and salary. This will result to financial losses for the vehicle owner as well as affect the social standing of the vehicle owner with the bank and his or her employer. Therefore, it is in the best interests of those involved in car accidents to get in touch with a St. Louis automobile accident lawyer immediately following a car accident. Your attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve.

More resources:

how long does whiplash last?

symptoms of whiplash from rear end collision

whiplash symptoms

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See's full Terms of Use for more information.