It’s alarming, but between 12 and 14% of accidents result in the total loss of a vehicle. Insurance companies control the valuation of vehicle, appraisal, and the result is that over the years, total lawsuits have steadily risen. So if you are in a crash and you’ve been told that your vehicle is a total loss, you might be wondering how to go about replacing your car. It’s a common concern, and we’ve pulled together a few tips and bits of insightful information to help. Contact our Virginia car accident attorney for more information.
There’s always The risk that you might have to downgrade or that you might be upside down on a loan. Additionally, you might have to time your new car purchase correctly in order to make sure you can make the most of your settlement. Purchasing a new car should be exciting, but for many people, after an accident purchasing a car is a hassle.
You Might Have to Downgrade
Many people don’t realize that after a car accident, you may only get about 75% of the blue book value of your vehicle. This also means that if you want to replace the total loss with a vehicle of equal or greater value, you’re going to have to take out a car note or use the money that you had in savings. After an accident, many people aren’t willing to take on greater financial responsibility because they may not be sure when or if they can return to work.
That leads most people to the decision to downgrade their vehicles. For those who were driving Cadillacs or BMW’s, this may not be extremely difficult as it’s likely you can still find a great car in the price range of the settlement you received to cover the compensation of the property damage. However, for someone who receives $5,000 or $6,000 to cover the property damage of their vehicle, it may seem impossible to get a safe car at that price.
What Happens If You Still Owe on the Damaged Car?
Car insurance providers only pay the vehicle’s actual cash value, and they often pay between 70 and 80% of that value. If you still owe on the vehicle, then you won’t see a check, including that property damage at all. The value assessed and distributed as part of the compensation for the loss would go to the loan holder. Then he would continue to oh and make payments on the remainder or balance.
The only way that you might not owe on the vehicle is if you had purchased a GAP coverage. The only time you can purchase gap coverage is at the time that you’re purchasing the vehicle, and it’s often only available through the dealership.
Selecting A Safer Car
If you came away from your most recent accident with injuries or you saw that you’re passengers sustained injuries, then you might consider purchasing a safer car. Cars are inherently dangerous, and there’s always the risk of other drivers being careless or outright negligent. So having a safer vehicle is something worth considering.
Let’s talk about safety ratings. The National Highway Transportation Safety Association administers assessments of all vehicle models that eventually hit the road. As part of their assessment, they assign a star rating value with five stars being highest an OnStar being the lowest. They consider front collisions, rear collisions, side collisions, rollover risk, and other elements of safety, such as seatback failure.
You may have also come to realize that while an SUV can certainly be more demanding on gas, they generally offer a better chance at surviving a crash. They’re usually full of safety features, and the larger size allows them to distribute force and impact over a larger area.
Do You Have to Wait for Your Settlement Check?
Get the Most Out of Your Case – Discuss Strategy with a Richmond Car Accident Lawyer
Replacing the car is one thing, but handling the entire crash process as a bit more of a challenge. People often get lost in believing that their insurance provider will simply replace their vehicle. Unfortunately, after an appraisal and receiving a settlement check, most people can’t replace the car with something of similar value. That happens because many don’t realize that they can negotiate their settlement or even move the case forward to court if the insurance company involved isn’t willing to give a fair settlement.
At CAIL of Richmond VA, you’ll find support from a reliable and compassionate Richmond car accident team. We’ll help you navigate how to properly value your car, had a fight for full compensation, And had a plan to move forward after a crash.