I was involved in an auto accident in Lafayette, Louisiana. Is my vehicle a total loss?
Auto accidents range in severity in terms of how much damage is done. Some accidents result in minor damage that might only cost a few hundred dollars to repair while other accidents leave cars mangled, and unrepairable. When a vehicle isn’t able to be repaired, it is considered totaled, or a total loss.
A vehicle is also considered a total loss after an accident when:
- The repairs the vehicle needs exceed the value of the automobile itself.
- The damage is severe enough to where state regulations require that the vehicle be declared totaled [Source: Geico].
As unfortunate as it may be to learn that your vehicle didn’t make it through the crash and can’t be restored, you don’t want to be driving in something that could potentially break down on you or lead to another accident occurring.
What happens once my insurance company determines my vehicle is totaled?
While each insurance company is going to handle the claims process for a totaled vehicle differently, one example that might be similar to how your company will handle it is presented below.
According to Geico, once the news is shared with you acknowledging that your vehicle has been totaled, your adjuster will ask you to:
- Remove your license plates as well as your personal items from the vehicle.
- Either leave your key with the vehicle or give it to your insurance adjuster.
- Contact your leasing or finance company letting them know the condition of the vehicle and allowing them to discuss the matter with your insurer.
- Be sure to complete any forms or documents your adjuster sends and get them back to them in a timely manner. If you hired an accident lawyer in Lafayette to help with the claims process, they can assist you with the requests your insurance company is making.
Do I have to apply for a salvage title after my vehicle has been deemed a total loss?
After your claims adjuster notifies you of the status of your vehicle after your accident and you have complied with their requests, they should discuss with you a settlement amount for your car. If you aren’t completely satisfied with this amount, you can always have your accident attorney speak with them to see if they can get them to come up in value. If you haven’t hired a Lafayette, Louisiana accident lawyer yet, be sure to contact us so we can help you get connected with legal aid in your area.
Now, it terms of applying for a salvage title, once you receive your settlement from your insurance company, they should take the required steps to get this handled. In some cases, an authorized agent might apply for the salvage title if your insurance company doesn’t. the salvage title allows the vehicle to be rebuilt, restored, dissembled, or sold off. You can access a copy of the salvage application by clicking here.
While dealing with a total loss vehicle claim isn’t exactly the ideal situation to be in, you do need to be sure that your insurance carrier is providing you with the right amount of compensation so that you can purchase another vehicle. If for any reason you believe that your insurer isn’t being fair, let one of our accident lawyers in Lafayette, Louisiana aid you in negotiating to get your settlement amount increased.