Then you as the injured party (in the case of a liability claim) have the right to commission an expert or appraiser of your choice (in order to assert your claims against the opposing insurance company). This also applies if the opposing insurance company wishes to send in its own expert after an accident. Since the latter probably has an interest in acting in the interests of insurance, you should look for an independent and certified appraiser you trust. This is the only way you can be sure that the damage will be assessed objectively and neutrally. The opposing insurance company must cover the costs of the expert opinion.
In the event of an accident through no fault of your own, do not allow the opposing insurance company to hire your own expert!
This works on behalf of the insurance company and is therefore most likely not neutral in terms of the extent of damage and repair costs.
Do not be drawn into the temptation of the free replacement vehicle and the collection and delivery service to the workshop.
If you ever want to sell your vehicle after an accident and repairs have been made, you will often no longer get the price on the market that you would get without the previous damage. So your vehicle has a reduced value. You can assert this financial disadvantage with the insurance company. As a rule, however, the so-called depreciation is only reimbursed by the motor vehicle liability insurance if it has been determined by an expert in an expert opinion!
If the repair costs are higher than the value of your vehicle, it is usually an economic total loss. You will receive the replacement value (of an equivalent vehicle) from the insurance company, minus the residual value of your accident vehicle.
If the repair costs are up to 30% higher than the replacement value, you have the option, under certain circumstances, of having your vehicle repaired anyway. I would be happy to advise you on this.
If your vehicle is damaged after a traffic accident through no fault of your own, the vehicle will no longer be available for use. For the time of the repair or in the case of a total write-off (for the period of a replacement) you can claim a "loss of use" between the use of a rental car or alternatively.
In the case of a comprehensive insurance, the insurance company is "authorized to issue instructions". This means that the insurance company is entitled to commission its own expert. As a rule, the insurance company itself bears the costs of preparing the expert opinion. If you do not agree to the damage assessment, the insured person has the option to initiate a so-called "expert procedure". In these procedures, each party engages its own selected expert.
With most insurers, the expert report submitted by the expert is forwarded to an external company. This scans the report and has it analyzed using special software. Automatic cuts are then made that do not correspond to any legal basis.
As a layperson, you as the injured party have no chance to argue against the trained insurance clerk. Therefore, it makes sense to involve a lawyer. An experienced lawyer specializing in traffic law knows the insurance games only too well and can help you.
In the event of a traffic accident through no fault of one's own, the opposing liability insurance company is obliged to cover the costs for a lawyer. Therefore, it is not only common, but even advisable, to hire a lawyer specializing in traffic law. This regulates the settlement of claims for you and, if necessary, requests further claims such as Compensation for pain and suffering and other compensation.
If the question of guilt is not clear and you have traffic legal protection insurance, it is also advisable to activate a lawyer.
Even if the question of guilt is clear and the damage is only minor, you should consult a lawyer for traffic law, as the insurance companies are happy to make cuts that are not based on any legal basis. Insurance is simply about saving costs. The Dortmund District Court explains: "Any injured party is well advised to take a lawyer, even for minor damage." It was about 645 euros (Az. 431 C 2044/09). The higher regional court in Frankfurt am Main even called it negligent not to involve a lawyer (Az. 22 U 171/13).
The lawyer does not cost the injured party anything, unless he is partially to blame. However, anyone who contributed to the accident must contribute to the legal fees. However, this depends on the law firm itself. But especially when the question of guilt is disputed, it is imperative to involve a lawyer.
We will be happy to advise you on this and recommend a law firm that does not charge any costs even if you are partially responsible!
Many accident victims want to sort things out themselves and not consult a lawyer because of minor issues. But the clerk of the opposing insurance company is far superior to them. He is trained to save on compensation. The insurers cut systematically, even on small things.
Attached is a link to the homepage of the "Stiftung Warentest" page on the subject of "Insurance cuts". Here you will also find tips on how to behave in the event of a claim.