A- Vehicle Repair
Damages to the vehicle are covered under the property portion of the claim. Insurance Code § 758 provides that an insurance company cannot require the vehicle to be repaired at any specific body shop. The claimant is entitled to repair the vehicle at a body shop of their choosing. If the claimant is covered by comprehensive coverage, then the claimant’s insurance will pay for the repairs, minus any applicable deductible. Once the repairs are complete, if the other party’s insurance company has accepted liability, then the claimant’s insurance may waive the deductible fee. Alternatively, if the claimant must pay the deductible out of pocket, the claimant will be able to recover the out of pocket expense from the other driver once liability has been established.
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B- Rental/Loss of Use
During the time that the vehicle is being repaired, a rental car may be needed. If the claimant is covered by a rental policy, their insurance company will cover the rental vehicle based off of the agreed coverage amount. If the claimant is not covered by a rental clause and must pay out of pocket for the rental, the claimant will have a claim for reimbursement for the out of pocket rental expenses from the other driver. The rental rate must generally be at a reasonable amount comparable to the damaged vehicle, rented only during the time of the repairs, and does not include reimbursement for additional insurance purchased from the rental company. Typically, if the other party has accepted liability, but the claimant does not have rental coverage, direct pay may be requested by the other driver’s insurance company without requiring the claimant to pay out of pocket.
In certain situations, the claimant involved in a Collision may not need a rental vehicle or may an alternative method of transportation. In these situations, the claimant can make a claim for loss of use of their damaged vehicle. A claim for loss of use compensates the claimant for the time that they were not able to use their vehicle during the repairs. Often times, this rate is equivalent to the rate of a comparable rental vehicle.
C- Other Property Damage
Other claims included in the property portion include items damaged during the collision. Insurance Code § 11580.011 requires the insurer to replace a car seat or reimburse the claimant for the cost of purchasing a new car seat if it was in use by a child during the collision or if it sustained a covered loss while in the vehicle. The claimant has the option to give the replaced car seat to their nearest California Highway Patrol office.
Depending on the auto coverage the claimant and the other driver(s) have, there may be additional property damage claims asserted. Other complexities may arise depending on the specific facts of the collision. Auto insurance policies can be very confusing, but it is important to understand the coverage and how the coverage protects the claimant in case of a collision. It is important to Consult An Attorney in your state immediately following a collision to better understand your legal rights.
Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403
Consultation: Free - 60 minutes
Tel: (310) 363-0551
Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com
Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.
is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.
In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.
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