My Car Is Totaled and I Still Owe Money On It!
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident and you either know or suspect that a vehicle that you’re still paying off has been totaled, there are a few things that you should know about your opportunities for legal and financial recourse.
If You Are Uninsured
Not having any auto insurance at all is typically the worst case scenario when it comes to accidents and traffic violations. As an uninsured motorist, you’ll have zero help altogether in the payment of the remaining balance of your loan; leaving you to pay it all out of pocket until your loan is paid back completely.
With that said, your rights and options under the law do not disappear simply because you were uninsured at the time of your accident if the accident was either not your fault or only partially your fault and you were injured as a result of your crash. Speak with an attorney about whether you’re entitled to significant compensation at this time.
How Totaled is Calculated
Each state has the authority to determine when vehicles are “totaled” (otherwise referred to as “total loss”). Some states don’t consider a vehicle to be totaled unless the cost to repair the car or truck in question exceeds the pre-crash value of the vehicle. Other states consider a vehicle totaled if its repair cost amounts to 60-90 percent of the car’s pre-crash value. You’ll need to have your insurance company evaluate whether your vehicle is a total loss or not.
If you still owe money on your totaled car, the options you have available will depend on the type of car insurance you have, your car’s value, and how much is left on what you owe. For example, if your car is totalled and you owe $8,000 on your loan, you’ll need to repay your lender out of your insurance settlement. If your insurer says your car’s pre-crash market value was $4,000, your insurer will probably only give you $4,000 to pass along to your lender. This will leave you to pay the remaining $4,000 you owe to your lender out of pocket.
With that said, a capable car wreck lawyer from Las Vegas, NV, including those who practice at Eric Roy Law Firm, will tell you not to panic if you owe more on your totaled car than your insurance says that it is worth. If your vehicle has been totalled, chances are that you were injured in the crash. Injury victims are often entitled to significant compensation as a result of the harm they have suffered. You may be entitled to more compensation than you owe to your lender. Speak with an experienced attorney to learn more.