A totaled car can raise a lot of questions. When you’re in an accident, you may not know if your car is beyond repair. If your car is a total loss, you want to make sure that you handle the situation correctly and get the compensation that you deserve. Here’s what you need to know about what to do when your car gets totaled from our Tampa car accident attorneys.
If your car is totaled in an accident, you should carefully review the settlement offer from the insurance company. The insurance company must offer you the fair market value of your vehicle up to your insurance policy limits. You may challenge the amount offered by the insurance company when your car is totaled in an accident.
What to do if your car is totaled in an accident should include speaking with an experienced attorney to see if you qualify to bring a legal claim for compensation from the party responsible for the accident.
When your car is totaled by insurance, the insurance company pays you for the market value of the vehicle before the accident. If there’s a deductible on your insurance policy, the insurance company subtracts the amount of the deductible from the fair market value that they’re going to pay you for the totaled vehicle.
Usually, an owner doesn’t keep a totaled vehicle. If you really want to keep the vehicle, the insurance company reduces your lump sum payment by the amount that they could have gotten for it at a salvage yard.
When your car is totaled, and you still owe money, you must continue to make your car payments. If you need to get another vehicle, you may be able to roll the outstanding amount that you owe into a new loan. You should receive payment from the insurance company for the fair market value of the vehicle before the accident. The payment that you receive can pay off all or part of your outstanding vehicle loan.
Yes, you still have to make payments on a totaled car. However, there may be ways that you can manage your finances and get a new vehicle. You can use the insurance payment for your totaled vehicle to pay the outstanding balance on the totaled car.
In addition, you can challenge the amount that you receive from the insurance company if you don’t feel that it fairly represents your losses. When you get a new vehicle, the financing company may allow you to roll your outstanding balance into a new loan.
A total loss claim takes three weeks. The body shop needs to look at the car and prepare a statement of repairs for the insurance company. The insurance company needs to evaluate the paperwork, research the fair market value of the vehicle, and make a decision on declaring the vehicle a total loss. A total loss claim takes a few weeks to process, and it should be completed in about three weeks.
Yes, you can keep your car if it’s totaled. However, the insurance company reduces its payment to you by the amount that they think they could get for the vehicle at a salvage yard. Most people don’t keep a car if it’s totaled. Typically, it doesn’t make financial sense to keep the vehicle. It may even be challenging to make the vehicle roadworthy again. However, if you want to keep your car after it’s totaled, you may make arrangements with the body shop and your insurance company.
For car totaled not at fault, you must look at state law to determine whether you can bring a claim through the other driver’s insurance company. For states with no-fault car insurance systems, you may have to meet certain thresholds for personal injury to also bring a claim for your totaled car.
In states that are at-fault for car accidents, you can bring your claim through the other side’s insurance company or through your own insurance company. In all states, if the insurance company that is legally obligated to cover the claim doesn’t offer you a fair rate, you may challenge the insurance company for fair payment including filing a legal case in court.
How to fight the insurance company for a totaled car begins by reviewing the offer from the insurance company. Carefully consider whether they’re offering fair market value for your vehicle. Remember, fair market value doesn’t necessarily mean the value of the vehicle when you bought it. It’s the value immediately before the accident.
However, make sure that your insurance company is comparing your vehicle to similar vehicles when they make their valuation. For example, if your vehicle has power windows and leather seats, they should be looking at fair market values for a car with power windows and leather seats. Similarly, they should compare vehicles with similar mileage. If you notice any ways that the insurance company isn’t judging your vehicle fairly, you can include this information in an internal appeal to the insurance company.
If the insurance company just won’t pay you fairly, you have the right to bring a legal claim. You can even bring a claim against your own insurance company if that’s what it takes to get fair payment. To win your claim, you must show that the insurance company didn’t make a fair offer based on the terms of your contract and the fair market value of your vehicle. You have the right to have a car accident attorney represent you in your claim.
Has your car been totaled in an accident? Are you wondering what to do next? Do you want to make sure that you get fair payment for your totaled car? Let our Tampa legal team handle every step for you. Call us today for a free meeting about your case. We’re standing by to talk to you.