What Happens If My Car Is Totaled In An Accident?
When talking about car accidents, it’s likely that you’ve become familiar with the term “totaled” when discussing the vehicular property damage. However, how exactly can you tell if your car is totaled? In the State of Nevada, a totaled vehicle is one that is so damaged that it is beyond repair.
If the insurance company declares your automobile totaled after a crash, there are important things to keep in mind to make sure that you get fair value for your losses. These considerations can help ensure you are protected and know what to do if your car is totaled after an auto accident in Las Vegas.
What’s a Totaled Car in Nevada?
The correct term for a totaled vehicle in Nevada is a total loss. To become totaled, the estimated cost to repair the vehicle exceeds 65 percent of the value of the car at the time of the crash.
The value is not based on the MSRP or the amount you owe on a car loan; it’s simply an estimate conducted by the insurance agency to determine whether it is worth it or not to repair your vehicle.
Will My Insurance Company Pay for My Totaled Car?
The amount the insurance company pays you is dependant on what type of insurance coverage you have. If you have liability only coverage, you have coverage for only the damage that you cause to other drivers. If you’re responsible for the crash, the liability only insurance coverage doesn’t cover your vehicle.
That said, if you have full coverage, your insurance company should pay for your property damage up to your policy limit. If you have $2,000 in property damage and you have a $10,000 policy, your insurance company pays you the full $2,000.
Don’t forget you’ll likely have to meet your deductible before your insurance company pays out your claim. If you have a $15,000 policy with $2,000 in property damage, and your deductible is $500, you’ll have to pay $500 before the insurance company pays out the remaining $1,500.
Filing A Claim Against Another Driver
Nevada is an at-fault state that permits you to file a claim against another person if they caused the crash. Instead of going through your insurance, the other insurer pays up to the policy limits.
If the other driver has low policy limits that will not cover the cost to repair your vehicle, you can bring a claim against the at-fault driver. However, it’s imperative that you purchase collision coverage in the event that the other driver is uninsured or underinsured!
Does the Insurance Company Replace My Car?
The insurance company will not pay you for the MSRP of your vehicle; they will pay what your car was worth at the time of the crash. The amount payable may be more or less than what you owe on any existing auto loans. The insurance company will not replace your car; they’ll issue you a check so you can find a new car.
How Do I Determine If the Insurance Company Is Offering Me a Fair Settlement?
It’s important to do your due diligence to ensure you are receiving a fair market offer for your car. While you are waiting on the estimate, access free online tools, like KBB.COM, to discover an approximation of what your vehicle is currently worth.
What Happens If I Don’t Like Their Offer?
If you do not agree with the insurance company’s offer, you can take them to court. If you go to court, however, you need to bring an expert auto appraiser with you to testify the value of the vehicle. An online tool won’t be permissible in court because it doesn’t follow the Nevada Rules of Evidence.
A person with extensive knowledge and experience in valuing vehicles can come to court to give their opinion of the vehicle’s value and how they arrived at that figure. A Las Vegas accident lawyer can help you find the expert that you need.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced attorney can review your case to detect a fair market offer from the insurance company.
If the insurance company does not offer a fair value, an attorney can help gather the information you need to negotiate a better offer. If your case progresses to court, your attorney will likely have a network of experienced appraisers who can testify the value of your car.
Your property damage is only one element of your case. If you have sustained an injury as a result of the crash, you should absolutely hire a personal injury lawyer to help you receive the settlement you are entitled to for a successful recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Las Vegas car accident, please do not hesitate to contact The Injury Firm | Las Vegas for a free, no-obligation case review. Our attorneys are available 24/7. Call (702) 800-0988 today!