In order to negotiate a total loss vehicle claim due to a vehicle accident, you need to have good hard evidence. This entails photographic evidence and the written appraisal from a third-party appraiser that your car is valued more than the insurance company claims it is.
It can be difficult to negotiate with insurance companies, but it is possible.
One of the best things you can do to help your chances is to get in touch with a Fort Worth car accident lawyer at Patterson Law Group. We have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies for better settlements for our clients. We can help you get the settlement you deserve.
When Is A Car Considered Totaled?
A car is considered totaled when the cost of repair is deemed more than the cost of the car itself. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the repairs must cost more than the amount you paid for a car.
As soon as you drive off the lot with your new car, it begins the process of depreciation. Every car goes down in value as it is driven. While it is possible to improve the valueby adding things like new paint, etc., any car that is at all used costs less than then same car that is brand new.
The older your car is, the higher chance your vehicle will be deemed totaled by an insurance company when involved in a car accident. When insurance appraisers from Texas evaluate your car, they will consider it totaled if the cost to repair is 100% of its value. This value may be less than what you paid for the car due to depreciation, age, and the condition your car was in before the accident.
At that point, your insurance will recommend that you turn your car over and will give you the pre-wreck value of the car to help you towards purchasing a new vehicle.
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How Much Does Insurance Pay For A Total Loss?
The insurance company will determine the amount to pay for your car based on a few factors.
- They will look at the condition your car was in before the accident.
- They will research the market value of your car now.
- They will get third-party appraisals from experts who can determine the value of the car and the cost of repairs.
Once they have done this, they may use a site like Kelley Blue Book to find the value of your vehicle. Some larger insurance companies use their own methods for appraising vehicles that they have developed over the years.
If the accident was your fault, this may also be taken into consideration when determining how much they will value your car.
Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible. If they can get a smaller appraisal, they absolutely will. How much they will pay also depends on the amount of coverage held at the time of the accident and whose insurance is covering the damages in the accident.
Whose Insurance Pays For Damages Or Total Loss?
Whose insurance pays for damages depends on whose fault the accident was. The at-fault driver will pay for the damages to the other driver’s vehicle.
In Texas, every driver is required to purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance will cover damages to the other driver’s car and person if you are at fault in an accident.
Texas requires drivers to have $30,000 per person to pay for injuries, $60,000 total to pay for a wreck, and $25,000 to pay for damages to a vehicle. This is the minimum; drivers can opt to purchase more liability insurance if they want to.
Texas is an at-fault state. The at-fault policy means that the driver who was at fault in an accident must pay for damages. Insurance adjusters usually determine fault in an accident by looking at photos, recreating the accident scene, and speaking to witnesses.
Once they have determined who is most at fault, the at-fault driver must file a claim with their insurance to pay for the damages to the other driver’s car. If you are at fault and you only have liability coverage, your insurance company will pay for another driver’s damaged or totaled car but not your own.
To have your vehicle covered for total loss in an accident where you’re deemed at fault, you must have collision coverage.
Collision coverage is not required. This allows you to claim injuries and damages to you and your car regardless of who was at fault.
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How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover More Money For Your Totaled Car?
If the insurance company decides your car was totaled and you disagree with their value assessment, you may want to negotiate. In a negotiation, it is helpful to have a car accident attorney on your side to help you out.
To prove that your car is worth more than an insurance adjuster claims, you need hard evidence. This might include photos of your vehicle from before the accident that proves it was in better shape than the adjuster claimed.
If you did repairs to your car, added new technology, fixed the sound system, repainted it, etc., you should be able to show pictures and records of that to prove the higher value of your vehicle.
You may also need to speak to a quality appraiser who values cars for a living. Your insurance company may have done the same thing, so it’s important that you find a high-quality and trained appraiser to help you.
It can be difficult to know what evidence you need on hand. It can also be challenging to find a good appraiser and negotiate with the more experienced insurance adjuster. For these reasons, speaking to a personal injury lawyer is your best option.
The personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law Group have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and settling disputes over totaled cars. We are happy to ensure our clients get the money they deserve after a crash.
To get help finding an appraiser and negotiating the best deal, you can get from the insurance company, call Patterson Law Group today. We are standing by and eager to help!