My car has been damaged, what now?

We can help you with your car repair or replacement, a rental vehicle, storage charges, or a total loss settlement, and we provide this service at no charge to our clients who we represent in an injury claim.

We know that when you are injured, it is difficult enough to deal with your injuries, your medical care and treatment, and the changes in your life, without having to also deal with all of the issues surrounding your damaged car. That is why we are happy to assist our injury clients, free of charge, with all of the issues surrounding your damaged vehicle.

  1. YOU NEED A RENTAL CAR. We will assist you in every way we can. We will try to get the insurance company for the responsible party to pay for a rental car while your car is being fixed or replaced. They do not have to pay you for a rental car if they believe their insured is not responsible for the crash, however. If that happens, we will help you get a rental car paid for through your own insurance company, if you have rental car coverage.

    If the other insurance company is not willing to pay for your car rental, and you do not have rental car coverage, you can pay for the rental yourself, and we will include the rental bill in the damages that we seek to recover for you. Rental cars are only paid for by any insurance company for a reasonable time while your car is being fixed, or a reasonable time for you to go out and find another vehicle if your car is declared a total loss. Again, we will help you through this process to make sure, as much as we can, that you do not have to spend your own money on a rental car.

  2. CAN MY CAR BE FIXED OR IS IT A TOTAL LOSS? Sometimes, after a crash, it is clear to everyone that the cost to repair your car will be more than what your car is worth, so you r car is declared a total loss. If your car is a total loss, you are entitled to be paid the FAIR MARKET VALUE of your car. We can advise you whether the amount of money that is being offered to you for the total loss is a fair amount. Sometimes, it is not as easy to determine if the cost to repair your car will be more that your car is worth, in this situation, we can help you with this decision so that, in the end, you have a safe, sound car.

  3. We have helped thousands of clients deal with their car damage and related issues.
  4. IF MY CAR IS A TOTAL LOSS, WHAT HAPPENS IF I STILL OWE MONEY ON IT? If you are in a crash, and there is a loan on your car, and your car is a total loss (the repairs would cost more than the car is worth), you still must pay your loan back. Unfortunately, sometimes you owe more on the loan than the car is worth, and this can be a problem. We will help with the negotiations with your loan company to keep the loan repayment as low as possible. Although we cannot guarantee we can do this in all cases, sometimes, we are able to negotiate a reduced payoff to the loan company so you do not have to pay any money out of your pocket, or owe them money in the future.

  5. WHERE CAN I HAVE MY CAR FIXED? You can have your car fixed anywhere you want.

  6. DO I HAVE TO HAVE MY CAR FIXED AT A SHOP THAT MY INSURANCE COMPANY REFERS ME TO? No. You can have your car fixed anywhere you want and the insurance company is obligated to pay the cost of necessary repairs and damage.

  7. WHAT ABOUT STORAGE CHARGES? WHO PAYS THEM? You are responsible for storage charges for your car, so it is important that your car gets out of storage as quickly as possible. Ultimately, the insurance company for the person responsible is liable for the storage charges. If the insurance company accepts responsibility for the accident on behalf of their insured, we can assist getting them to pay the storage charges or getting the storage charges back for you.

  8. WHAT ABOUT ANY PROPERTY THAT WAS IN MY CAR? Sometimes in a crash, other property gets damaged such as golf clubs, phones, computers, and the like. We will assist in getting you the value of your property as quickly as we are able, so you can purchase replacement property.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005