Q:

What determines whether my vehicle is repairable or totaled?

A:

This determination is based upon the fair market value of your vehicle and the cost of repair. Also, there may be times when it's in your best interest to use your own auto policy property damage coverage instead of the at fault party's. Your lawyer should help guide you through these important decisions.

Q:

When am I entitled to have a rental car paid for by the other driver's insurance company?

A:

Many times this is referred to by an insurance company as "loss of use". Texas insurance carriers handle loss of use in many different ways. Some companies may set you up in a rental car, while others will only reimburse you for your rental expenses. In some circumstances, the at fault party's insurance carrier may not be legally obligated to pay for loss of use at all. It is important to have your lawyer discuss these issues with you and review your own policy to determine if you are paying premiums for a rental car coverage.

Q:

What if I owe more on my vehicle than it is worth?

A:

Texans commonly refer to this as being "upside down" on your car note. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have GAP insurance that would cover you in this situation.

Q:

What is GAP insurance?

A:

GAP insurance is coverage that will compensate you in cases where your car is totaled and you owe more money on the vehicle than it is worth. Texans commonly refer to this as being "upside down" on your car note. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have GAP insurance and explain how it could benefit you if your vehicle is totaled.

Q:

Do I get to choose where my vehicle gets repaired?

A:

Yes. Some insurance companies will try to steer you to their "preferred" repair shops. Your lawyer can explain what this term means and why you may or may not want to use such a shop for your vehicle repairs.

Q:

Do I have to provide the insurance company with vehicle damage estimates?

A:

No. You have the option of obtaining multiple estimates if you desire, but the majority of insurance companies will send their own appraiser to estimate the damage to your vehicle. It's important to know that initial estimates are not final estimates, and can be revised if the repair shop finds additional damage that the appraiser missed.

Q:

Who pays for towing and wrecking yard storage fees?

A:

The at fault party's insurance company is legally responsible for reasonable and necessary storage and towing costs.  In certain situations, arguing with an insurance company about the reasonableness and necessity of these costs can be an expensive headache. Its a good idea to let your attorney handle these discussions with the insurance company to help make sure you are not incorrectly saddled with these costs.