What Happens if My Car is Totaled in a Car Accident?

Most car accidents are pretty minor. You may suffer some bumps and bruises. Your car may need some repairs. But, for the most part, the accident will be nothing but a minor inconvenience.

In some cases, however, even if you don’t suffer major injuries, your car may. If your car is destroyed in a car accident, you’re going to want someone to pay. You shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for damages to your car when someone else is responsible.

If the other driver was responsible for your accident, you’ll have to file a claim against their insurance company. If you’re lucky, they’ll approve your claim and you’ll get your check in a week or two.

But, if you’re not so lucky, the insurance company will deny your claim. If this happens, you’ll need to contact a car accident lawyer in Greenville. They can appeal your claim and try to negotiate payment with the insurance adjuster. If this doesn’t work, they’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

How Do I Pay for Car Repairs in the Meantime?

When you get into a car crash, you’ll probably need some repairs. If your car isn’t totaled, you’ll have to take it to a mechanic or body shop. They can give you an estimate of how much it will cost to fix your car.

As long as the repairs cost less than the current value of your car, the insurance company won’t declare it totaled. This means you’ll have no choice but to get the car fixed. If the other driver’s insurance refuses to pay to get your car, fixed, you’ll find yourself in a pickle.

You’ll have a few choices:

  • You can pay out of pocket to get the repairs made and pray that you win your lawsuit
  • You can submit a claim to your own insurance company and hope they cover the repairs
  • You can find a generous friend or family member who fixes cars and work out a payment plan with them

For the most part, option 2 is going to be the best option. You can submit a claim to your insurance company. They’ll cover the repairs, but expect to be repaid when you win your lawsuit. You can’t double-dip. If the insurance company pays to get your car fixed, you’ll have to pay them back if and when you settle your lawsuit. They’ll make sure you do.

How is the Insurnace Company Reimbursed?

Your insurance company will be notified that you’ve filed a car accident lawsuit against the other driver and his insurance policy. They’ll track the progress of your case. They’ll be waiting to see if you win your case or negotiate a settlement out of court.

When you receive your settlement proceeds, you’ll have to pay back the expenses related to your car accident. Your proceeds will be paid out as follows:

  • Your Greenville car accident lawyer will take their contingency fee
  • You’ll have to pay off any liens for medical bills paid by a third-party provider
  • You’ll need to reimburse the insurance company for repairs covered under your policy
  • Whatever is left is yours

The insurance company isn’t going to be very patient when it comes to getting reimbursed. As soon as your settlement is paid, your attorney will need to figure out who is entitled to disbursements. Your lawyer has a duty to make sure all third-parties are reimbursed before you get your share of the proceeds.

What if My Car is Declared Totaled?

If the damage to your car is serious, the insurance company may declare your car totaled. This means that it would cost more to fix the car than the car is worth.

Let’s say your car is worth $5,000. The accident messed up the transmission. It will cost $6,000 to repair the transmission. It’ll cost another $3,000 to fix any cosmetic damage to your car. Since it’ll cost $9,000 to fix a car that’s only worth $5,000, the insurance company will declare your car totaled.

When this happens, the insurance company will pay you the fair market value of your vehicle. So, if the car in the above example was worth about $5,000. This is the amount you’ll receive.

Keep in mind – if the other driver is found to be at fault, your insurance company will expect to be reimbursed. Your car accident attorney in Greenville will make sure they are.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney in Greenville Today

If your car is totaled in a car accident, call and speak with a car accident lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina. Your lawyer can review your case and let you know what it’s worth. They can also explain how your car repairs will be covered.

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.