This is Why Your Car Wreck Results in a Total Loss
By its very nature a wreck is confusing, scary, and often causes physical injury or death. But when you’re struggling with insurance after your wreck, and they have deemed your vehicle to be a “total loss,” what does that mean and what are you supposed to do?
As your Texas car accident lawyer, we’re here to help ensure that you’re not taken advantage of by the insurance companies. Let’s start by understanding some of their lingo.
What is a Total Loss?
Total Loss is a term that insurance companies use when it’s determined that the cost to fix the vehicle exceeds the value of the vehicle itself.
For example, you have a car worth $10,000 and you’re hit by another motorist. The body shop looks things over and determines that it would cost $10,001 (or more) to restore your vehicle. Because it’s cheaper to replace it; the insurance company says it’s a total loss and cuts you a check for what they determine to be the replacement value.
There’s one big glaring problem here though. A total loss, in the insurance’s eyes, is anything over 70% of the value of the vehicle. So if your vehicle is worth $10,000 but will cost $7,000 to fix, it’s still a total loss.
What can You do about a Total Loss Car Wreck?
Let’s suppose you’re right there on the border. And the insurance company has declared you to be at that 70% threshold, so they’re claiming the vehicle is totaled.
You have a couple of options here. You might still be able to have your vehicle fixed.
First Option: Have the value of the vehicle re-assessed. Often insurance doesn’t account for everything on your rig. So if you’ve updated wheels, added off-road lights, tinted the windows, or anything that increases the value of the vehicle, you can have it reassessed so that the repairs don’t go over that 70% mark.
Second Option: Get a second opinion on repairs. You can take your rig to any body shop that you want. If another shop determines the repairs would cost less, you can show that repairs are below 70% of the assessed value.
Third Option: When a car is totaled the insurance company buys it from you. You can accept a lower offer for your vehicle, and maintain possession. This usually isn’t a good deal; the offer usually drops by half, or more, and isn’t worth keeping a crumpled up vehicle.
When does an Attorney help with Your Car Wreck?
Generally speaking, if your wreck didn’t result in injuries, an attorney isn’t going to be able to help very much. It comes down to the value of your property.
Property, like your vehicle, has a pretty hard and fast amount attached to it. Even if we argue that the vehicle is worth more than it is on paper (due to sentimental attachment, value as a daily driver, and more), it’s not going to increase the amount you receive by enough to justify the time and effort put into your claim.
Your well-being is worth far more than a vehicle ever will be worth. If you’re injured, the insurance company knows they can minimize the impact on your life, and throw out a settlement offer that’s not going to fully compensate you for loss. But if you accept it, they wipe their hands and don’t owe you anything else.
Your car wreck attorney is going to show that you’ve suffered a major loss. And the insurance company not only needs to pay for the property damage, but pain and suffering that you’re going through.
How to Work with Herbert Law Group
Herbert Law Group knows how to talk with insurance companies. Your car accident lawyers can persuade and show that you’re suffering and you deserve to have the financial stress removed from your life.