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Different insurance companies use different methods but typically when the insurance company determines that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 70-80% of the pre-accident value, then it is a total loss.
Generally you are entitled to have your vehicle fully repaired by a body shop of your choice, but the insurance company is only required to pay the “usual, customary, and reasonable” rate for any repairs. You are also entitled to loss of use/rental for a reasonable time during repairs or for when the vehicle is inoperable.
This depends on a lot of factors, but you are generally owed a rental for the entire period of time you are without a safe and functional vehicle, plus about 3-5 days after you receive your total loss settlement funds.
The at fault party must typically cover costs associated with a property damage claim, including a rental while your car is being fixed. Nevertheless, if the at-fault party does not have insurance or enough insurance to cover damages, your insurance may need to cover the costs. However, your insurance will only cover the damage if you have collision and/or uninsured motorist property damage (“UMPD”) coverage. If you do not, you may be stuck covering both the repair costs as well as rental costs.
Yes, according to Ohio Revised Code 4513.61(C)(2), the tow lot must allow vehicle owners to retrieve any personal items with presentation of proof of ownership without actually retrieving the car or paying a fee (unless “after-hours”).
If the car is drivable, you should attempt to get your car out of the tow lot as fast as possible, even if you have to front the fee (if possible). If the car is not drivable you may be able to sell it to the lot. Even if you are not at fault and the at-fault party’s insurance is responsible, you still have a responsibility to make sure the cost stays as low as possible.
Within five days of your car being towed, a notice should be mailed to you regarding your towed vehicle. While tow yards typically wait at least thirty days, by law, you have ten days from the date the notice is mailed out to claim the car or it could be declared a nuisance and disposed of. (ORC 4513.61(C)(1))
Each state has a statute of limitations for each different type of claim, which imposes a time period in which your claim must be filed into court. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is 2 years from the date of the accident. The only time this differs is for minors, in which case the minor has 2 years from his or her 18th birthday to bring a claim.
If you are in an accident and the at-fault driver has no insurance or very minimal coverage, you can still recover compensation if you have uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured coverage pays for damages in the event that the at-fault driver has no coverage at all. On the other hand, if the at-fault driver has insurance, but has low liability limits, your underinsured insurance can cover what the at-fault driver’s insurance company cannot.
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Miscellaneous expenses — for example, medical devices and aids, renovating your home to accommodate your disability, hiring help around the house
- Emotional stress, depression and anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to know exactly how long your claim will take because every accident and every client’s health is different. A settlement can take anywhere from two weeks up to a couple years. It is always smart to contact an attorney as soon as possible after receiving initial medical treatment so they can start working on your case. The biggest factor in the lifespan of your case is usually the severity of your injuries and the treatment necessary to make you healthy again. Generally, if you have suffered minor injuries there is a better chance of your case settling within a few months, as opposed to someone with complicated injuries that could take years to settle.
Your compensation depends on many factors, including but not limited to: The sum of hospital bills, coverage of future care/rehabilitation, property damage, lost wages, damages for emotional and mental pain, and the amount of available insurance.
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