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What to Do When Your Car Is Totaled in an Accident?

You have been in a pretty serious accident. Hopefully you walked away from it a little banged up, but otherwise fine. Unfortunately, even if you didn’t get hurt in the accident, your car sure did. From many minor accidents, a car can usually be salvaged and fixed up, but when your car gets classified as “totaled,” what do you do next? Contact your nj car accident lawyer.

When is a Car Considered Totaled?

First, you need to know what it means to be totaled so that you can make the right decisions. Typically, you can tell just by looking at it after an accident, but the true definition of totaled is when a car’s repairs are greater than its current market value or when it is beyond repair , such as if they frame is so badly bent that it cannot be fixed. However, as a driver, you shouldn’t worry about if your car repairs come in just under its value. In Minnesota, just like many other states, insurance companies typically label a car as totaled if the repairs are at least 80 percent of the car’s value.

It is Totaled, Now What?

You have taken your car to the auto shop and they have deemed it totaled. Now what do you do? Well, it is time to have a conversation with your insurance provider that can be a real headache if you let it. After a car is ruled to be totaled, you must make a claim to your insurance company where they will pay the actual cash value, or retail market value, of your ruined car. Some insurance companies use their own methods to calculate what the value of your car is, but as the owner, you should always double check the blue book value to make sure it is at least in the same ball park. If you notice some discrepancies, you can always make your claims agent go through their process with you.

Now, depending on your car and your coverage, two things will happen. You will get a check or you will get a car.

Will My Insurance Company Give Me a Car?

According to a well known Car Accident Attorney Louisville Kentucky, whether or not your insurance company replaces your car is up to your coverage and how new your car was when totaled. If you car is less than three months old, most major insurance companies will replace your totaled vehicle with a new car. Outside of that, if you have guaranteed replacement coverage, your insurance company will also cover a new car. However, typically that is something you pay extra for. If you just do the barebones coverage from your insurance provider, they most likely will not be providing you with a new car.

How Soon Will I Get My Check?

If you don’t pay for guaranteed replacement coverage, your insurance company is still required to “make you whole,” which is weird fancy talk for writing you a check for the value of your car. Typically your insurance claim adjuster will tell you how much you are getting back and after you agree to it, then the check be written up. However, how long will it take you to get it?

It varies from insurance company to insurance company. Typically after finalizing the actual cash value, major insurance companies will issue payment within a few days. Unfortunately, there can be a few things that can come between you and your new car money.

If you financed your car or still owe money on it, unfortunately you still have to pay it back. If you leased your car, the payment will go to the leasing company. If you financed your car, the check will be used to pay off the remainder of what you owe while the rest will go to you. However, if you own the car yourself, you will get the full check.

Can You Keep the Totaled Car?

You got the check and you got the new car, but what about your old one? One dirty little tidbit about insurance companies is that typically they keep the totaled car and keep the proceeds after it is auctioned off at a salvage yard. However, while they put a dollar value on your car, to you it may still be priceless.

The good news is that if you want to keep your totaled car, you are permitted by state law to do so. Unfortunately, the insurance company will still get their cut. The company will get bids from salvage buyers which they will use to set the fair market value on your husk of a car. After that happens, the price is deducted from the check you get cut for its value.

In Minnesota, you must also apply to the state so that your totaled car be switched to a “salvage title,” which means you cannot apply for plates and registration until the repairs are completed and a new title is granted. So while you technically can get your totaled car back, you may want to first ask yourself if it is worth the time, effort, and money to fix.

While navigating the insurance company after an accident resulting in a totaled car is frustrating, you shouldn’t neglect why you were in an accident in the first place. If your accident resulted due to the negligence or impairment of another driver, you may have some legal recourse available to you to cover your damages. Contact us today to see if the Farrish Johnson Law Office can get you the justice you deserve.