If you get into an Atlanta accident, chances are that you’d suffer some losses. Possible losses include personal injuries and vehicle damage. In addition, if your car gets damaged in a car accident, you get worried about repairs.
However, if your car gets damaged to the point that it’s considered totaled, you may wonder what happens next. First, you must contact an Atlanta car accident attorney to know what course of action best suits you.
Signs That Your Car Is a Total Loss in an Atlanta Accident
In America, about six million car accidents occur annually. These accidents result from the recklessness of drivers and, in some cases, due to factors they cannot control. When accidents happen, those involved will likely file an insurance claim. Thus, the average driver will likely file an auto insurance claim at least once every 17.9 years.
This is because it’s almost impossible to avoid getting into a car crash, no matter how conscientious a driver you are. In addition, other road users may not be as careful as you. Consequently, your car may get totaled as a result of the crash.
A vehicle could be totaled if you’re unable to drive it. This could be because parts of the car are bent, refuse to start, or fluids are leaking. In most cases, when fluids start leaking from your vehicle, it’s an indication of possible expensive repairs that your insurer may not want to pay.
Suppose your vehicle is above five years and sustained extensive damage to it; it may be totaled. This is because cars over five years old are expensive to repair and repaint when the frames get damaged. Furthermore, a vehicle that is almost 20 years old is already too old to get the parts for repairs would be considered totaled.
Another way to know if your car is totaled is if the total cost of repairs is more than what it would cost to replace it. This is mainly because no insurer would want to pay more for repairs than it would cost to replace a car. Therefore, even if your vehicle holds some sentimental value to you, it does not affect your insurer’s assessment. Unfortunately, a totaled vehicle has no value for the insurers. To know if your car still holds most of its original value, you can check the Kelley Blue Book.
What Do Insurers Consider as a Totaled Car?
When a car gets totaled in an Atlanta accident, the damage to the vehicle is not worth the repair cost. Most insurers assess the vehicle for its fair market value against the cost of repairs. For example, if the cost for repairs is about 70-75% of the car’s reasonable market price, the vehicle is totaled. Unfortunately, a totaled car holds no value except for the scraps or parts that may get salvaged eventually. You should not just accept your insurers’ assessment of your car without getting an experienced car attorney in Atlanta to verify it.
What if I Do Not Agree That My Car Is Totaled?
If you think that the value of your car is more than what the insurer has valued it to be, you have about three options:
- You either reject the valuation
- Try to negotiate with your insurer
- File a lawsuit.
If you reject the valuation, you may need an independent appraiser to value your car and pay out of pocket. However, if you choose to negotiate or sue, you’d provide evidence that indicates that your vehicle is worth more than the insurer says its worth.
Can I Still Keep My Car After It Gets Totaled in an Atlanta Accident?
For some people, their cars hold some sentimental value. Therefore, even when the car gets totaled in an Atlanta accident, they may want to keep it. It’s possible to keep your vehicle after it gets destroyed. However, you have to obtain a salvage title. Also, the car ought to be road-worthy or deemed safe to operate. Unfortunately, choosing to keep a totaled vehicle gets you a reduced payment from your insurer.
Should I Get a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta if My Car Is Totaled?
An experienced attorney is needed not only when you want to file a lawsuit but before filing a lawsuit. With our Atlanta accident attorneys, you get a legal team who will ensure that the process goes smoothly and protect you against bad faith insurance policies. Contact The Weinstein Firm today for a free case review with one of our attorneys.