AUSTIN, Texas. If you’ve been in a serious accident, in addition to seeking medical care for your injuries, you’ll need to determine whether your vehicle damage was a total loss. Generally, total loss is determined when your vehicle’s repairs exceed a set percentage of the car’s value. Different states set different percentages to determine total loss. According to U.S. News & World Report, Texas sets that value at 100%. While this might sound high, it is important to remember that the 100% is determined based on the value of your car were it to be sold today, not the value of your car had you purchased it new. The value of repairs for an older car will be lower than for a newer car. Essentially, your insurance company doesn’t want to pay more to repair a car than it would pay to buy you a new model of your same vehicle and age.
According to Kelley Blue Book, a totaled car may be declared so because the cost of repairs are higher than the value of the car, or a car may be declared a total loss if the insurance company cannot safely repair the damages. Sometimes cars are so damaged in accidents, they are deemed not road worthy.
When dealing with a total loss and insurance companies, it is important to remember that the value your insurance company might be willing to give you for your totaled car might be different than the actual value of your car on the market. Insurance companies might use various methods to determine the value of your car. They may look at the Blue Book value, for example. However, sometimes this amount is lower than the actual value of your car if you were to try to buy one on the market. Sometimes insurance companies offer a lowball settlement in the hopes that you’ll accept it. One way that you might be able to get more is by looking at listings in your area for the same model and age of your car. If the listings are higher, you might be able to get your insurance company to offer a little more. What Blue Book lists as the value of your vehicle might not always reflect actual demand for your vehicle on the market. Another thing to consider is whether your insurance company considered the least expensive possible model for your vehicle, or if the company considered the fact that your vehicle had, say automatic windows or other features. If you recently did repairs or maintenance on your vehicle, U.S. News & World Report notes that you may want to bring this to the attention of your insurance company because this can also impact value. At the least, it shows you kept your car in good condition and would have likely been able to get a good price for your vehicle on the market.
Your insurance payout is deigned to “make you whole.” This means, that ideally, your insurance payout should be enough so that you can go into the market and buy your same model and age car. The ideal scenario and reality seldom play out, however. In many cases, the money offered for your totaled car won’t often be enough to pay for a replacement vehicle.
However, you may still have options. For example, you may be able to sell your car for parts. Or, you may be able to seek additional damages from negligent parties involved in your accident. If you have questions about your rights after a crash, reach out to the Robson Law Firm, car accident lawyers in Austin, Texas. Our firm can help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and for your property damage. Visit the personal injury attorney at the Robson Law Firm today.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200