How to Value Your Car When It's a Total Loss
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If you have been involved in an automobile accident in Texas, and the insurance company declares the car a total loss. The insurance adjuster should provide you with a settlement offer for the fair market value of your vehicle plus tax, title, and license fees.
This guide covers the process.
Disclaimer- Baumgartner Law Firm Does Not Handle Property Damage Claims- Only Injury Cases! This article is for informational purposes only!
Houston Injury Attorney Discusses Total Loss Property Damages
About Total Losses in Texas
Our automobile accident lawyers in Houston discuss a total loss car wreck, what the insurance company owes, and how to get the most for your car. Assuming fault is not contested, here is how to value your vehicle that can’t be repaired.
What the Insurance Company Should Pay
You do not have to take an insurance company’s valuation of an automobile deemed to be a total loss as gospel. Rather, due diligence demands that you research the value of your vehicle when it is determined to be a total loss and assess the property damage. You can access some resources to help you value your car when it is determined to be a total loss.
This article is written to help those dealing with an insurance company with a total loss after a car crash!
Definition of Total Loss in Texas
An automobile is determined to be a total loss following an accident if it cannot be repaired safely, legally, or cost-effectively, according to Kelly Blue Book. In many cases, an insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss following an accident based on a cost assessment of repairs, contrasted with the car’s value.
In Texas, the insurance company should add the tax, title, and license fees to the fair market value of your car on the day of the crash.
Fair Market Value plus TTL
If your car is declared a total loss, the insurance company will owe the fair market value on the day of the accident plus tax, title, and license fees (7.25%). This is the cash value of your car. Fair market value is not any set number, and you should be prepared to negotiate for the best outcome. Getting factual information about the value of your vehicle is essential when negotiating with the adjuster.
If you owe more on your car than it is worth, that is not the insurance company’s problem to solve. The insurer only looks to the FMV for the negligent party or your insurer. Look here for information about determining fault after an accident.
Determining FMV -Kelly Blue Book
The time-honored Kelly Blue Book is a resource that can assist you when determining the value of your car when it is determined to be a total loss.
Not only does Kelly Blue Book have basic information about automobile values and motorcycles, but the company also offers specific resources that assist a car owner in determining valuation following an accident and a declaration of total loss by an insurance company.
If your car can be repaired, is a newer model, and sustained substantial damage, you may wish to consider a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle after repair.
Obtaining a letter from your car dealer about the reduced value after the repair is a good start to making such a claim.
Texas Department of Insurance Resources
The Texas Department of Insurance maintains various resources to assist Texans with insurance-related issues.
TDI material includes information associated with automobile accident claims, including the valuation of losses.
The Texas Insurance Department can be helpful if you have reached an impasse in resolving a car accident claim, including the issue of valuing a totaled automobile. Also, you can speak with a car insurance lawyer with questions.
If you have issues with an insurance company after you failed a claim for property damage liability or under collision coverage, you can contact the Texas Department of Insurance for help.
Texas Department of Insurance has an online complaint form that can used to file a complaint regarding an insurance company and your claim.
Baumgartner Law Firm Personal Injury Practice Areas
At Baumgartner Law Firm, our personal injury attorney in Houston, TX, helps clients throughout Texas maximize their damages to get the compensation they deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars and represented thousands of accident victims.
Since 1985, our firm has limited the practice to serious injury cases and produced exceptional results in the following areas:
- Auto & Car Accidents
- Catastrophic and Severe Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Truck & 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Daycare Negligence & Child Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Dram Shop Lawsuits
- Wrongful Death
Our founding attorney is peer-reviewed and preeminent rated, with over 35 years of experience.
Common Total Loss Questions
Do you still need to make payments if your car is totaled?
If your car is declared a total loss, you may still need to continue making payments on it. However, the specific circumstances can vary depending on who is determined to be at fault. You can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider if you are not deemed at fault in the accident. By doing so, you can seek compensation for the damages incurred, including the fair market value of your vehicle plus tax, title, and license fees.
What steps should be taken if your car is totaled in an accident?
If your car is deemed totaled after an accident, it is important to take several steps to ensure a smooth process. The first and foremost step is to contact the insurance company of the person at fault and file a claim. The claim can encompass damages such as repair costs, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. You can initiate the necessary procedures to address these potential financial and personal losses by promptly notifying the at-fault provider.
How do insurance companies determine if a car is totaled after a Texas car crash?
Insurance companies determine if a car is totaled after a Texas car crash by assessing various factors. One crucial factor is comparing the total cost of repairs, including the salvage value, with the car’s cash value. To make this determination, the insurance company typically estimates the cost of repairs and evaluates the car’s current worth. If the estimate exceeds the car’s cash value, the insurance company will likely consider the vehicle as totaled.
Car Accident Lawyers for Personal Injury
If you have not only experienced damage to your vehicle but were injured. In that case, you may want to retain a personal injury attorney near Houston to provide representation. Most Houston car accident attorneys do not handle the property damage portion of a claim because there is no mechanism for the lawyer to be paid for the work.
Houston has some very deadly roads. The more serious your injury, the more likely you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you maximize your monetary recovery. Make no mistake, who you retain to fight for your compensation matters with severe injury claims.
While most personal injury attorneys in Houston do not handle the property damage claim, many will answer your questions about how to process the claim. If you need an attorney for the injury claim, get one of the best as soon as possible.
The earlier you hire an attorney, the better your odds in the case.
If you have other questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.
Total Loss Resources
- Kelly Blue Book: https://www.kbb.com/what-is/totaled-car/
- Texas Insurance Department: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/
- Edmonds: https://www.edmunds.com/auto-insurance/a-total-loss.html
Related Car Accident Resources:
Related Auto Accident Pages:
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