What do I do if my vehicle was totaled following a car wreck? What are my rights as far as replacing my car or getting a rental if repair work is possible? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

In Virginia, like in most states, a car insurance company whose insured driver causes damage to your car normally must pay for restoring your vehicle to its pre-accident condition. Virginia also requires that an insurance company pay for a comparable rental car during the time that your car is being repaired. You generally have a choice about the repair facility for your vehicle. For instance, if you drive an expensive car, you might want to have the work done at a certified body shop. That is your right. Also, you can let the adjuster know that you do not want to use refurbished parts on your car.

Another issue that often comes up is that of the rental car. While your vehicle is being repaired, the insurance company must provide you with a comparable rental car. The rental vehicle must be made available until your own car is finished being repaired or the insurance company has made you an offer on your vehicle.