What To Do After Your Car’s Been Totaled
Following an unfortunate car accident where the insurance companies claim that your vehicle is a total loss, it can be tricky to know what to do next. Since some insurance companies might not have your best interests in mind following a car crash, it is extremely important to know what to do after your vehicle has been totaled. While a car crash is certainly a troubling ordeal, these helpful tips will make the process easier to handle and allow you move on from the accident in a timely manner.
Who is Liable for Damages?
Since California is a traditional fault state, liability is solely based on negligence. What this means is that insurers will only pay for damages that were caused by one of the parties involved in the crash. If another driver was responsible for the damages to your vehicle, their insurance should cover the expenses. However, if you were at fault for your own damages, you will likely be paying the bill.
When purchasing insurance, a certain type of supplemental coverage can protect you from paying for damages caused in a crash. Known as collision coverage, this additional insurance protects your vehicle from any and all damages that may occur to your car. Unfortunately, collision coverage can be pretty pricey since it pays out regardless of who was responsible for the crash.
How Much Will They Pay?
This is where the insurers can start becoming a hassle. Unfortunately, insurance companies typically provide funds up to the policy limits of the parties involved in the accident. For example, if the other driver was responsible for the crash, caused $30,000 worth of damage and only has coverage for $15,000, their insurance will only fork over $15,000.
Beware of Insurers
While they claim to be there for you in times of need, there are a couple disturbing ways that insurance companies keep raining on your parade following a car accident. If deemed a total loss, insurers will only pay the fair market value for your ride. This becomes a problem if you owe more than the current list value. For example, if you owe $20,000 on your car loan and Blue Book value lists the vehicle at $16,500, the insurance company is only going to give you $16,500.
Additionally, if your insurer deems your car a total loss, they have the right to seize your vehicle to recoup their expenses. While you can attempt to convince your insurer to let you keep your totaled vehicle, they have the legal right to seize your ride, and will typically do so. It is also wise to know what to do if your insurer offers a low evaluation on your vehicle after an accident.
Nobody enjoys being in a car accident, but hopefully this information will offer some peace of mind during an especially tumultuous time. Remember that insurance companies are not always your friends during troubling situations. For the best results after totaling your car, a personal injury lawyer is your best bet at recovering the most funds possible.
If you’re wondering what to do after an auto accident you’re not alone. Insurance companies don’t always have your best interest in mind, and it’s important to talk to someone you can trust. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert L. Meissner are experienced in getting people who have been injured in an accident the compensation they deserve. Call (916) 473-1537 or fill out our online form for a complimentary consultation.