Marlton, New Jersey (PRWEB) November 02, 2012
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New Jersey this week, causing astronomical damage to many communities. Some areas of the state are still not accessible to residents, and many are unaware of the condition of their homes and vehicles they left behind. Through all of the catastrophe, many cars have been flooded and now people are faced with assessing the damage and are wondering whether or not their cars are even salvageable. The New Jersey hurricane injury attorneys at Console & Hollawell understand that this is a difficult time and they want to offer assistance to those affected by offering tips for what victims should do if their cars have been flooded.
South Jersey car accident lawyer, Richard P. Console, Jr. expressed that even with all the confusion and devastation right now, you need to get your claim into your insurance company as soon as possible.
“Insurance companies are already receiving thousands of calls from those affected by Hurricane Sandy,” Console said. “You need to make your claim as soon as possible so they can schedule an adjuster to come out and assess the damage to your vehicle.”
It is likely that you will have to wait a considerable amount of time to have the insurance company come out and look at your car. What should you do in the meantime? Console shared some tips for those whose vehicles have been flooded that will help speed up the claim process and prevent further damage to your vehicle.
1) Know Your Coverage – You need to know if your auto insurance even covers this kind of damage before anything can be done. If you only have liability coverage, than you will not be able to make a claim for your flood-damaged vehicle. You need comprehensive coverage in order to make a claim, according to CNN Money.*
2) Document the Damage – You will need full records of what happened to your vehicle. This is partially completed through your claim with the insurance company, but you should also take your own photos of your car and its damage.* These photos will serve as evidence on how bad the damage was while the car was still in water, remember it may be weeks before an adjuster looks at your vehicle.
3) Keep Receipts – If windows were shattered on your car in the storm, you do not want to risk further damage by leaving the windows open. If you do buy tarp or something else to cover the windows, keep the receipts and turn them in to your insurance company—they should reimburse you for these costs, according to a CNN Money report.*
4) Know the Damage – A rule of thumb when it comes to assessing flood damage in cars is that if your seats are dry, there probably is not any damage to critical parts of the car, CNN Money suggests.* If the seats are wet, there is most likely extensive damage. If you are unsure about the interior of the vehicle you can also check the air filter located under the hood—if the filter is wet, the damage is bad.
5) Do Not Attempt to Drive – The last thing you should do is try to start or drive your vehicle if you suspect or know it has flooded. CNN Money* explained that by starting the car, you can cause further damage to the engine than was already present. Even those whose seats were not wet should put off starting the car until it has been inspected, if at all possible.
6) Interior Wetness Cannot Be Solved By Opening Windows – Many people will attempt to simply let their car “dry out” following flooding like this, but this will not solve the issue. The carpeting and upholstery in your car will trap and hold water and could cause the metal parts of the vehicle to rust—not to mention mold growth. Professionals will need to go in and disassemble and determine what can be dried and saved and what needs to be replaced, CNN Money reported.* Also do not use any electronics such as hair dryers or space heaters to try and dry your car.
The attorneys at Console & Hollawell, P.C. have been assisting victims of accidents and catastrophic events since 1994. They understand that in difficult times such as these, you need allies on your side to uphold your rights.