What Should I Do When The Insurance Company Totals My Vehicle After An Accident?

You’ve recently been involved in an accident and you have turned the information over to your insurance company only to find out that they’ve ruled that your vehicle is a total loss. Here are a few common questions that may be relative to your circumstances.

Who’s going to pay for the damage, my insurer or the other driver’s insurance company? This usually depends on whether the collision happened in a “no fault” or “non-no fault” state. It also depends on the type of insurance coverage that will be used to pay for your vehicle. For instance:

• “No-fault” insurance means that the damage will be paid for by the insurer no matter who’s at fault for the accident. If you live in a no-fault state but damages are not subject to those guidelines, you can file a claim against the other driver. Conversely, if you live in a non-no fault state, accident liability is always based on negligence. Unless your coverage pays for damages regardless of whose fault it is, the insurer will only cover damages if someone has been deemed at fault.

• Supplemental “collision” coverage pays for any and all damages that your vehicle incurs. Furthermore, it pays for damages regardless of who is at fault. As a result, you can file a claim against your insurance coverage if you’re the at-fault driver. The bottom line is that the other driver’s insurer will pay if they were negligent and the accident took place in a non-no fault state.

How much will the insurance company pay me for damages? This depends on the limits established in your insurance policy. Here’s an example. The at-fault driver caused $25,000 in damages but your property damage coverage is only for $10,000. This means that you would need Collision coverage for the remaining $15,000.

What happens if the insurance company totals my vehicle? When totaling vehicles, insurance companies will only pay fair market value as of the accident date. Even if, according to the balance on your car loan, you owe more than fair market value on it, the insurer will only pay the fair market price.

What can I do if I don’t agree with the insurance company? If you disagree with the insurance company, you have only 3 options –
1) Accept their offer,
2) try to negotiate a higher amount,
3) File a lawsuit.

Just keep in mind that you need to have a valid argument for option #’s 2 or 3. It is best to discuss your options with the personal injury lawyer in Milton.