For most people, when you’re involved in a car accident that’s someone else’s fault, all you want are the damages covered. You expect to turn over the damages and have the insurance company take care of it. When they come back with a finding of total loss, however, it can be a really stressful and upsetting thing. Learn what to do if your car is a total loss, if and how you can challenge the decision, and how a car accident lawyer can be vital to have in your corner.
What Is a Total Loss?
When you turn over your damaged vehicle for an insurance estimate, a finding of total loss, or more colloquially, totaling your car, means that the adjuster has found that your vehicle is worth less than the total repairs would cost to affect. In this case, the insurer offers you the full current market value of your car based on the day it was in the accident. Usually, this is based on the Kelley Blue Book value.
While at first, it may seem like such an offer will at least allow you to get the most important repairs done, another aspect of total loss is that the insurer also often takes your car. In effect, they buy it from you for the current Blue Book value.
I Can’t Lose My Car!
The first reaction of many people is that they can’t afford to lose their car, and the blue book value won’t allow them to get another vehicle. This is especially true if you still owe more on your car than its current value. The Blue Book, for example, might say your car is worth $14,000 when you still owe $16,000 on it. What do you do in this case?
Challenging the Finding
For many people, the options in this case are limited. Sometimes you may be able to convince the insurance company to let you keep the vehicle, but this is rare. You can attempt to negotiate a better figure with them, or you can file a lawsuit to challenge the ruling.
In the case of negotiation or filing suit, you’re going to need evidence to back up your claim. You will need to prove, in essence, that the car was worth more than the offer made by the insurance company. This can be very difficult to do.
Talk to an Odessa Car Accident Lawyer
When it comes time to challenge a total loss result, your best bet is always to hire a qualified and experienced Texas car accident lawyer. Insurance companies can be very tough to deal with; they’re known for using “take it or leave it” tactics, even bordering on bullying, to make you walk away with as little as possible.
Not only does a lawyer know how to fight back against these tactics, they know how to defend your rights, gather the evidence you need to prove your case and make sure you get the full compensation to which you’re entitled. If you live in the Odessa area and need representation, call Robert White for a free case evaluation today.