Know Your Rights After A Loss In An Auto Accident

When another driver causes a car accident, you can recover losses for property damage.

Under Virginia laws, as long as you had no fault in causing the accident, you have the right to recover compensation from the at-fault party and can seek recovery of the following losses:

  • Auto repair costs. Under Virginia Code § 59.1-207.3, an auto repair shop must provide you with a written estimate for car repair. When the at-fault driver’s insurance company’s adjuster estimates car damages, you can ask the auto repair shop whether they can repair it for the estimated amount. Often, the insurance company can issue the auto repair shop a check.
  • Diminishment in value. Appraisers can provide an estimate for the diminished value of your car after repair, which you can seek as part of damages from the other driver’s insurance company.
  • Total loss. When the insurance company determines that your car is a total loss and you do not agree with the offer, it is your right to obtain a certified appraisal from an independent appraiser.
  • Property destroyed in the accident. Any property destroyed by the car accident, such as car seats and other personal belongings, is also subject to appraisal and recovery.
  • Rental car use. The insurance company must pay for rental car use, allowing a reasonable amount of time to repair your car or time for you to purchase a replacement.


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