What Determines if my Car is Totaled in an Accident?

What Determines if my Car is Totaled in a Boston Car Accident

Most lawsuits deal with injuries sustained in car accidents. However, some accidents can cause an awful lot of property damage too. Imagine you’ve had your new car for just a few months. You’ve only made a few payments on it. It’s new and shiny – it still has that new car smell.

On your way home from work, a car comes barreling toward you, going the wrong way. They hit you head on. You manage to survive with just minor injuries. Your car, however, takes the brunt of the impact. You’re sure it’s totaled. The insurance company disagrees.

Rather than give you money to purchase a new car, the insurance company insists that your car can be repaired. They tell you that it’s going to take about a month or two to fix your car. In the meantime, you’ve got to pay for a rental car. This ends up costing you a couple thousand dollars.

If you think your car should have been declared totaled, you may need to contact a Boston car accident attorney.

Boston Car Accident Attorneys Know the Criteria for Totaling a Car

As much as you may love your car, even you know when it’s time to let go. If your car isn’t worth repairing, it should be deemed totaled. This will allow you to get a replacement vehicle. Sure, you’re not going to get as much as it cost to get the car. You’ll probably have to suffer some sort of a loss. But it’ll be enough to pay your car loan off or buy a replacement vehicle.

The general rule is that if it’s going to cost at least 70% of the value of your car to fix, it should be totaled out. This rule applies to older cars and relative new cars.

Let’s look at an example of each:

Let’s assume you have a ten (10) year old car worth $4,000. Your mechanic tells you it’s going to cost $3,000 to fix your car. This is more than 70%. Therefore, the insurance company will declare your car totaled.

Let’s instead look at someone with a new car. It’s worth $30,000. They still owe $26,000 on the car. It’ll cost $15,000 to fix the car. This is less than 70%. So, instead of replacing the car, the insurance company will insist you repair it.

Neither of these situations is ideal. $4,000 won’t buy much of a car. And, who wants to hear that their new car will take months to be fixed?

What Do You Do if You Still Owe on Your Car Loan?

You can run into trouble if your car is totaled but it doesn’t cover your car loan. With newer cars, a lot of people don’t realize they lose a lot of their value when they drive off the dealer lot. Some people say this can be as much as $5,000. Some say it’s more.

So, if you owe more on your car loan than the insurance pays, you’re going to still owe some money. Unless you have gap insurance, you’ll be personally responsible for this debt. If you do have gap insurance, it’ll cover the rest of your loan. However, it won’t give you any cash to put toward a new car.

It can be a Catch-22. You don’t want to get a car back that needs thousands in repairs. However, you don’t want to lose your car and be left with nothing either. That’s why there are car accident lawyers in Boston.

How Can a Boston Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Let’s say your car was totaled. You now have no money in your pocket and no car to drive. What do you do? Well, you can call a Boston car accident lawyer. He can file a claim against the other driver for any out of pocket expenses you incur.

Other than an insurance deductible, there is no reason you should have to pay out of pocket for what was someone else’s fault. Your lawyer will make sure the other driver is held accountable.

Your claim will make a demand for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Out of pocket expenses

Call and schedule your initial consultation today. You can sit down with an attorney and have him review your case. Ask any questions you may have. Your lawyer will give you an idea of what your case may be worth.

The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case. The other driver will have attorneys working for him and so should you.

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