What you should know if you total your car

Law Offices of Steven Zwick
Jul 02 2018

Auto accidents happen, and despite your best efforts, they can easily happen to you. Some car accidents are negligible: a fender bender, a light scratch, a broken tail light. Others are devastating and can result in a total loss of your vehicle. The severity of an accident, and whether it is deemed a total loss, will be determined by the insurance company after car accident claims are made.

If you total your car, there are a few things you should know.

Be prepared now
Waiting until it’s too late to check with your insurance provider about your total loss coverage and company policies can end in disappointment. There are many things you should get clarification on now, such as the formula they use to determine a total loss, whether they cover a rental car, and much more. Sitting down with your insurance agent before you get into an accident can greatly prepare you for a worst-case scenario.

How do they determine if it’s a total loss?
Each insurance company has their own formula for determining a total loss, and what the reimbursement value would be. Usually, an insurance company will deem your vehicle a total loss if the cost of repairs minus your deductible is more than the market value of the car. The cost of damage as it relates to a total loss is also dependent on the vehicle itself. For instance, the insurance company might pay a couple thousand dollar repair bill on a brand new vehicle but would consider an older vehicle with the same damages a total loss.

You can fight for your rights
Just because the insurance company says one thing doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. If you feel as though your rights are being infringed upon as a policyholder or that the settlement offered to you isn’t an adequate reflection of true costs, then you should hire an attorney. You never think that your insurance company will do you wrong (or at least hope they don’t), the same way you’d never think your doctor would cause more harm than good. Yet, there are roughly 40 wrong site surgeries performed every week. So, if your doctor can screw up, so can your insurance company. That’s why it’s important to know your rights and seek legal advice, especially if you were hurt in an accident as well.

Car accident claims aren’t something you’ll enjoy having to deal with throughout your life, yet they won’t go away on their own. You can try as hard as you like to be a safe and smart driver, but you can’t account for the other drivers. If you total your vehicle and filed a car accident claim, contact an attorney to help you get what you deserve.

Injured in a car accident or fighting with your insurance company? Call the Law Offices of Steve Zwick today.