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Totaled Car Without Full Coverage Dilemma

Posted on: July 28, 2017

totaled car

When you get into an accident where the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the car, the car is considered totaled. Your insurance may still cover the cost of repair or replacement if you have the right coverage. If you don’t, you will find yourself in somewhat of a dilemma.

First of all, it is important to understand which insurer is responsible for paying for the damage. As Oklahoma is not a no fault state, you are able to pursue compensation from the other driver if they hit you. It is therefore important to know your rights in the eyes of the law.

Collision Coverage

If you have collision covered it will cover you for damage to a totaled car, however, this type of insurance is expensive and most people don’t feel it is worth the investment. If you don’t have this type of insurance then you may decide to make a claim against the other driver. If the other driver was negligent in the accident you have a case for making a claim.

However, there is a catch. The insurer will only pay up to the limit of the policy held by the other driver. If the amount of damages to your car exceeds the policy limit you are still left to pay out of pocket for the rest.

Fair Market Value for a Totaled Car

You also have to consider the fair market value of the vehicle. The insurer is only obligated to pay up to value of the car – or the fair market value. If you still have money to pay on the car, that leaves you with the remaining value to pay and you won’t have a car to drive in the meantime.

The insurer will likely take the car, too, in order to reclaim loses. This is their legal right when a car is completely totaled. Obviously, you may not agree with the valuation provided by the insurer. This is a fight that is difficult to win. You can attempt to negotiate with the insurer, but it will prove frustrating in most cases.

Proving your Case

It is possible to fight your corner if you have enough evidence supporting a case for an unfair valuation. This involves proving that the car was worth more than the insurer is claiming. Photographic evidence of the car’s condition, pre-accident, is a good place to start.

If you have documents that detail any recent work on the car, including the type and costs of parts, you could argue that the car was in significantly better shape than the insurance valuation would suggest. Realistically, you would probably need the services of an appraiser to build any kind of strong case.

Seek Legal Advice

Dealing with insurance and compensation after a totaled car accident is complicated. The absolute best decision you will make is seeking legal representation. A personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents will have the experience you need to negotiate with insurers.

Edwards & Patterson has settled countless cases in our favor of our clients, despite seemingly impossible odds. Reach out to our offices today if you have been in an accident that resulted in a totaled car.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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