If you're in an accident and the other driver's insurance company states that your car is a complete or total loss, contact an accident attorney right away. When an insurance company doesn't want to pay for the repair or replacement of a vehicle, they write it off as a total loss. You can do two things once this happens:
What Does Total Loss Mean?
When your car receives more damages than what it's worth, an insurance company describes it as a total loss. The insurance company bases its decision on the actual value of your vehicle. Actual cash value is what your car's worth compared to other vehicles of the same make, model and year in your state or location. Even if you purchased your car at a price higher than the actual cash value, the insurance company can still consider it a complete loss and offer you a lower settlement amount.
In addition, if the cash value is substantially lower than what you owe on your car, you'll need to pay out of pocket to pay off the difference or give the car back. If you own the car outright, you'll need to purchase a lower priced vehicle to replace it. In most cases, the amount given to you by the insurance company isn't enough to even buy another vehicle.
Your attorney may fight back for you and obtain a higher settlement.
What Can Your Attorney Do for You?
One of the things your attorney may do is go after the other driver for compensation. The other driver may have other financial means, such as property and assets, to pay for a replacement car. In most cases, the funds received from the other driver may pay the difference you owe your finance company.
If the other driver can't pay, the lawyer can pursue the insurance company for a bigger settlement. The insurance company still owes you compensation for your injuries. If the accident lawyer can obtain more compensation for your injuries, you may have a chance to use some of it to pay off your car or buy a new one.
There's one more thing your attorney can do for you. They may pursue the finance company to see if it has gap insurance on your car. Gap insurance is designed to pay for vehicles written off as complete losses by insurance providers.
Your attorney may pursue this option for you. Keep in mind that to save money on expenses like vehicular write-offs, not all finance companies may tell you that they have this type of coverage. It's in your best interest to let your attorney follow up with your finance company.
If you have questions about your car or case, speak to your attorney directly for more information and advice. To find out more, speak with someone like