In addition to numerous other questions in the event of a traffic accident, there is always the question of assessing the damage, specifically the exact amount of damage. This often takes the form of an expert opinion, which is also often not cheap. But is such a report always required, issued by an expert? Or is a rough estimate from a workshop sufficient? And who bears the costs? We clarify.
The great advantage of the cost estimate for the expert opinion is obvious: A cost estimate is created faster and initially costs significantly less. This means that the accident can also be dealt with much more quickly. But: The cost estimate only takes into account the expected repair costs. In an (independent) report, on the other hand, other damage items are directly checked and quantified, e.g. B. an additional accidental depreciation of the vehicle, the amount of the recoverable rental car costs or the compensation for the accidental loss of use. In the event of a total loss, the residual value determined in an appraisal can also be important - this then represents the value for which you can still sell your vehicle that has been involved in an accident.
The accident is thus examined in more detail as part of an expert report, whereby the amount of compensation can be higher than in the cost estimate.
Where there are many damage items to assess, there is usually also a more serious accident at the root. The decisive question as to whether a cost estimate should be obtained or whether an expert opinion should be obtained is therefore: Is it a minor damage? Current case law puts this at around €750. If the damage is likely to be more than this sum, a comprehensive expert report should be obtained in any case. However, if it is only minor paintwork damage or an exterior mirror that has been hit, a cost estimate is sufficient.
This applies in particular since the opposing motor vehicle liability insurer only assumes the costs for an expert opinion or the cost estimate if these costs are reasonable and necessary, to put it simply: the accident damage is also to be settled in the corresponding area. A further requirement is, of course, that the question of guilt does not stand in the way. In the event of any contributory liability, the opposing motor vehicle liability insurer can also reduce the payment amount. Is it, however, z. B. a rear-end collision, the sole responsibility of the other party involved in the accident can usually be assumed, which means that their motor vehicle liability insurer also has to bear the expert costs.
After an accident, the question of a cost estimate vs. an expert opinion should always be asked promptly and - in the case of greater damage and no sole responsibility - an expert opinion should be tended towards. This in particular in order not to cut off potential damage items in advance. Our lawyers will be happy to advise and accompany you through the accident settlement and are available to you to enforce your claims.