With over 10 million car accidents occurring annually, you’re likely to encounter one at some point in your driving life. There are several things you should know if your car is totaled.
The next step after seeking medication is to contact a top Bakersfield car accident attorney. Afterward, you should start preparing to pursue an injury claim.
What Is a ‘Totaled’ Car?
A ‘totaled’ car is a vehicle that has been extensively damaged such that the cost of repairs will exceed its value. In other words, the insurance company considers the car to be a total loss and may offer a payout to the owner based on the car’s pre-accident value.
If you’re liable for the crash, you can pursue a claim through your auto insurance. If another motorist is liable, their insurance companies pay for the damages to your car.
Collision coverage pays for damages caused by another vehicle. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage pays for damages resulting from other things besides collisions with other cars, such as fire or fallen trees.
Options to Handle Totaled Cars
If your car is totaled, here are seven ways you might consider handling it.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim
The easiest way to handle a totaled car is to pursue an insurance claim. Here’s what you should do when pursuing an insurance claim:
1. Get medical attention if needed and make sure you are safe.
2. Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident, including their name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
3. Document the accident by taking photos of the damage to both vehicles and the scene of the accident.
4. Contact your insurance company and report the accident. Provide them with the information you gathered from the other driver(s) and share the photos you took.
5. Work with your insurance company to determine who is at fault and what coverage is available.
6. Follow the instructions provided by your insurance company and provide any additional information they request.
7. If the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for the damages, you may need to file a claim with them as well.
8. Keep track of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, car repairs, and any other costs incurred as a result of the accident.
9. Hire an attorney if the insurance company is denying your claim or if you believe you are entitled to more compensation than they are offering.
The process of pursuing a car accident insurance claim can be complicated, but by following these steps, you can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
A successful insurance claims process should result in:
- Replacing the totaled vehicle with a similar one
- Offering cash payment equivalent to the value of the totaled vehicle.
If you opt for cash payments for a car on loan, the insurance company will send a check to you and your lender. After clearing the loan, you keep the balance. However, you pay the difference if the insurance payout is less than the outstanding loan balance.
Let the Car Be
A totaled car may still be in driving condition in some cases. In such instances, you can continue using it. This can be a good idea if you lack collision or comprehensive coverage to pay for repairs.
For safety reasons, ensure the car is checked by a mechanic and repaired if necessary. Always remember that your safety is more important than anything else.
Keep the Car for Spare Parts
Keeping a totaled car for spare parts can be a cost-effective way to obtain replacement parts for a similar vehicle. It can also be useful if you plan to repair the car yourself or if you have a mechanic who is willing to use the parts to repair another vehicle.
It’s important to weigh the cost of storing the car against the potential savings and to make sure you have the space to store it safely. Also, some parts may degrade over time and may not be suitable for use if they’ve been sitting in a totaled car for an extended period.
Sell the Car to a Junkyard
Selling a totaled car to a junkyard is a good option because the car may not be safe or practical to repair. In other words, the cost of repair may exceed its value.
Many junk yards offer cash for totaled cars, even if it is inoperable. They typically handle the towing process, which can be convenient for the seller. Additionally, selling to a junkyard can be an environmentally responsible way to dispose of a vehicle, as the junkyard may recycle or salvage usable parts from the car.
You can trade in a totaled car if you’re planning to buy another one. However, you should get a professional appraisal of the totaled vehicle to ensure you receive a fair amount from the dealership.
You can deal with a totaled car as discussed in this article. However, it’s important to weigh your options to make informed choices.