What Happens If My Car is Totaled in an Accident?
By Chris Dixon
When someone else’s negligent driving causes you to be involved in an accident, it can sometimes end in your car being deemed as ‘totaled.’ This can be a confusing process to deal with. If you are involved in a car accident and your car is totaled, a car accident lawyer can determine if you are entitled to compensation and make sure that you understand each step of the process.
How is it Determined that a Car is Totaled?
For a car to be totaled, it means that the damage done to the vehicle is greater than the amount of the vehicle and it wouldn’t make financial sense to repair it. So the vehicle is declared a total loss according to factors such as the condition of the car and whether according to state laws the car is structurally sound. If your car is totaled in an accident, you will receive the amount that the car was valued at before the accident in cash minus any sort of deductible you have on the car. The amount that you receive for your car will be based on other factors such as mileage, age, and other factors.
What Happens After My Car is Declared a Total Loss?
If your car is considered to be totaled after being involved in an accident, the amount that you receive for your totaled vehicle may or may not be enough to cover the cost of a replacement vehicle. If the settlement you receive for your car is too low, you can hire a personal injury lawyer who can make a counter offer to the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay you more for your car, with the legal guidance of your lawyer, you can file a suit against the insurance company to get them to pay you the fair value of your car that was totaled in an accident.
Can I Keep My Totaled Car?
You will not, in most cases, get to keep your totaled vehicle if you accept a settlement amount for your vehicle from the insurance company. The insurance company will typically scrap your totaled car for parts and keep the money from it, or repair your vehicle and declare it as a salvaged title car. You could make the choice to keep your totaled vehicle, but typically a totaled vehicle is either undriveable or declared as unfit to drive unless it is repaired.
What If I Still Have a Loan for My Totaled Car?
Most people have a car payment on their vehicle which is paid monthly. If your car is totaled while it is still under a leasing contract, you are still legally liable for paying off the lease even though the car is totaled. In some cases the amount that you’ll receive for the totaled vehicle will be enough to pay off the car’s loan, but in other cases, after applying the amount awarded there will still be a balance owed. Unfortunately, there are only two options if your car is under lease and you still owe money on it. You can make monthly payments until the loan is paid off, or you can hire a lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company to give you a higher settlement for your vehicle. Either way, evidence needs to be gathered after the accident so that you and your lawyer can prove that the other driver caused the car accident that totaled your car and is at-fault.
If Your Car is Totaled by Someone Else in an Accident, Get Help From an Attorney
If your car is totaled in an accident at the hands of another driver, having a car accident accident claim lawyer by your side is essential to ensure that you receive the highest amount for your totaled vehicle. They will help you analyze your case before filing a claim and will tell you what they think the likely outcome of your case will be. Additionally, a lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf if you receive a low settlement that you aren’t happy with, and can help you decide if it makes more sense to just accept the settlement and move onward. If you are involved in an accident where your car is totaled and you are seeking legal guidance, contact the Dixon Injury Firm to find out more about how they can help you win the most for your totaled car accident claim.