In personal injury claims, damages to property and damages for bodily injury are often settled independently of each other. This is the case because it is much easier to determine the value of the property damage than it is to determine the value of the bodily injury and property damage tends to not increase over time.
As long as there is no dispute about the value of the property damage and no lawsuit has been initiated, it is perfectly fine to settle the property damage claim on your own and long before the bodily injury claim is resolved (just be careful like I mentioned in an earlier post). Unless you have a vintage vehicle, this should be straight forward.
The court system and judges prefer that property damage claims settle easily and quickly, so standard property values are used to resolve them. Although there may be minor differences between Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and the software system used by the liability insurance company, they all should reflect a reasonable market value of your vehicle in your area of residence (the Tri-Cities is a big enough market for most vehicles). What happens if you just bought your car? You’ll likely not get the full value because of automatic depreciation. If you are a new-car owner with a loan, you might consider purchasing gap coverage for the difference between your loan and the market value of your car.
If you have any questions, give Anderson Law a call! We’re here to help!