My Damaged Car is a Total Loss – What to do Now?
The last thing anybody wants is to be involved in is a vehicle accident. While the most important factor after an accident is the well-being of you, your passengers, and others involved in the incident, damage to property can also be extensive. If your car is totaled due to an accident, you need to know what to do next. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, our car accident attorneys in Charlotte want to discuss what your next steps are to get your vehicle replaced.
What does totaling a car mean?
When you find out that your car was totaled in an accident, it may be confusing to understand what this means. In fact, sometimes a car is considered “totaled” even when it seems like there is not much damage. A car is considered totaled when the extent of the damage is not worth repairing by the insurance carrier. The determination that insurance carriers use to make a “totaled” claim varies, but generally is in the 70% to 75% range. For example, if a car is worth $10,000 pre-crash, but sustains $7,000 worth of damages, it will generally be labeled as a total loss.
If your car has been labeled as totaled by the insurance carrier, you have a few options.
- Take the money: After an accident, your insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurer will let you know the value of your vehicle. If it has been totaled, they will offer to write you a check for the pre-crash value of the vehicle.
- Keep the vehicle and repair it: If the vehicle can be driven or towed to the repair shop, you may want to keep it. Some people choose not to file a claim and instead drive with some damage and make repairs with their own money. This may be an option when you have an older car where the claim will not give you enough money to buy a more reliable vehicle.
- Sell the car to salvage: Most salvage yards will give you cash for a total car. If you find a licensed scrap car buyer, they will usually tow the car for free. Again, this may be a better option for an older vehicle.
- Keep the car and don’t repair it: Sometimes, a vehicle is considered totaled even if there is just cosmetic damage. This does not mean the car cannot be driven, so you may choose to just keep it and drive it, especially if the deductible for repairs is something you are not prepared to pay.
We will help secure the compensation you need
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident and sustained serious property damage, you need to speak with an attorney today. At Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC, we are fully equipped to handle all of your car accident needs. Our team will investigate your case and where to secure proper compensation, which can include:
- Coverage for all property damage expenses (repair or replacement)
- Compensation for all medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages