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5 Things You Should do When Your Car Gets Totalled During a Car Accident

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Fun Rover

May 11, 2021


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Despite how cautious or defensive you are when driving to work, running errands, or going on a road trip, accidents can occur. Sometimes it’s not your fault; it can be challenging to act fast and avoid an accident when other drivers are reckless on the road. While you may not incur severe injuries, your vehicle may acquire damages to the point of being totalled. When this happens, it's vital to understand your options. Here's what you should do when your car gets totalled during a car accident.

Make an insurance claim

Finalizing and closing a claim when your car gets totalled can take months; it’s not something you want to delay. Just as you expect the insurance company to speed up the settlement process, the same way you should act fast. First, file the auto claim as soon as possible for the insurance company to start working on it. Then, tow your vehicle to the insurance company’s preferred body shop to fasten the claim process.

Follow-up on the pay-out

Once you make a claim, the insurance adjuster commences work to determine the level of damage. Sometimes the pay-out for a total loss is higher than the car’s value; insurance companies consider many factors before totalling a vehicle, for example, the cost of fixes and replacements and the market value. Research your options to determine if you have some bargaining power to receive a better settlement. Also, research your vehicle's market value to get an idea of how much your final pay-out should look.

Seek legal help

An attorney can be a strong ally for car accident clients, especially where the accident isn't your fault. An attorney can help you follow up on settlement by the other driver's insurance when your car gets totalled to enable you to get a new vehicle. In case of injuries, you also get a settlement for hospital bills. When an accident happens, locate your title as they have a way of going missing when you need them.

Decide whether to salvage or accept the total loss

When your car gets totalled due to an accident, you can decide to leave it with the insurance for disposal or salvage it. Total damage sometimes occurs from cosmetic damage, while the mechanics remain intact, meaning it is salvageable. If you have attached sentimental value to your car, you can use the settlement from the insurance company to rebuild it, and in this case, sign a salvage title. Alternatively, you can keep the wreck and sell individual parts of it that still work.

Complete and mail the paperwork as fast as possible

Totalled vehicles have a lot of paperwork to complete; start working on it as soon as possible. If you have a loan, determine how much you owe to know if you need to sign a power of attorney to transfer ownership to the insurance company after the loan repayment. Maintain communication with the insurance company by giving clear contacts, include all necessary details and mail or fax the paperwork when you’re through.

Bottom line

Car accidents can ruin your day and give you a hard time dealing with insurance. Apart from the vehicle incurring damage, accidents expose you to life-threatening situations. Therefore, it is vital to visit a doctor, file an insurance claim, and seek legal help to fasten your settlement process.

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