Most people attempt to drive in a reasonable and safe manner. You probably count yourself among the responsible drivers on the road.
For instance, you most likely come to a full stop at intersections. You probably always signal before turning or changing lanes.
Even when adhering to these good driving habits, accidents can happen. Not every driver is responsible, safe, or lawful.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, it is normal to feel angry and overwhelmed. This is especially true if the damage to your vehicle is extensive.
For instance, what should you do if your car has been totaled because of a negligent driver?
Below, we will provide an overview of many of the important issues following this type of traffic accident.
Understanding Total Loss
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it is important to ensure everyone’s safety. Many drivers each year suffer a severe auto injury. Even the safest drivers can sustain a serious traffic injury.
After you have insured your own personal safety and wellbeing, you should file an insurance claim with the other driver’s provider. Carefully collect and submit relevant documentation to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation.
In some instances, the Kelley Blue Book listed value of your vehicle may not represent the full amount that you are due. If you have made modifications to your car or truck, it may be worth more.
Common relevant vehicle modifications include:
- Improved radio, audio, or stereo systems
- Newly installed tires
- Modified internal screens or guidance systems
- Security features and alarms
- And more
Significant investment in your vehicle can influence the amount of auto accident compensation that you should pursue.
The other driver’s insurance adjuster will take information about your vehicle into account. They will use this information to calculate the value of your automobile prior to the collision.
The adjuster will then compare the value of your vehicle to the potential cost of repair. A total loss occurs when repair costs reach a certain percentage of the vehicle’s total value.
That percentage is determined by the insurance company. However, certain state laws place regulations on these determinations. Most states set total loss percentages no higher than 70% of a vehicle’s value.
After a Determination of Total Loss
Following the determination of total loss, the insurance company is required to provide you with the value of the vehicle before the collision. Providers are not mandated to replace the car. They are also not required to provide you with an amount that would allow you to replace the vehicle in the current market.
In most instances, the claimant is not permitted to keep the totaled vehicle to sell or use. When you accept a proposed settlement offer, you are relinquishing your right to the wrecked vehicle.
Typically, the insurance company will repair and sell the vehicle. They may alternatively sell the totaled car to a scrapyard.
Possible Legal Issues
When your car is determined to be a total loss from an accident that you did not cause, many challenges may arise. For example, the estimate of the vehicle’s value may be too low.
In simple cases, the insurance company will adjust their initial estimate and pay you the full amount that you are owed. Unfortunately, this is a rare outcome.
Insurance providers are not working with the interests of claimants in mind. Rather, the company’s goal is to minimize the payment amount on every filed claim.
The undervaluing of your totaled car may result in a dispute between you and the insurance provider. If this happens, contact a reliable car accident lawyer immediately.
Another issue may arise when you owe more on your car loan than the vehicle’s estimated value. When this happens, you may be required to pay for a totaled car, even though another person caused the damage.
Legally, a car accident does not automatically result in modifications to your loan agreement. For that reason, you may want to hire an attorney so that you can argue for a higher value estimate.
Every accident involving a totaled car or truck is unique. No matter what the circumstances of your traffic accident might be, consult with a reliable motor vehicle accident lawyer. They will carefully analyze the circumstances of your case and fight for maximum compensation.
Reach Out to a Skilled Legal Representative
Consult with an experienced accident lawyer through TrafficAccidents.com today. We will connect you with an attorney who has experience with insurance companies and vehicle damage claims.
Complete our easy-to-use contact form online or call to request a consultation. Let TrafficAccidents.com help you to recover the compensation that is rightfully yours!