Car accidents can be overwhelming, especially when they result in a totaled car. The aftermath of such an accident can be complicated and confusing, leaving you wondering what to do next.
Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the process alone. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential to seek the guidance of an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer.
At Jett Legal, we understand the challenges of dealing with a totaled car, and we are here to help you navigate the legal process. In this blog, we will guide you through what to do if your car is totaled in an accident, ensuring that you have the information you need to protect yourself and your finances.
Assess The Damage
The first thing you should do if your car is totaled in an accident is to assess the damage.
If your car is still drivable, move it to a safe location and turn on your hazard lights. Then, inspect your car thoroughly to determine the extent of the damage. Look for visible signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, and broken windows. You should also check the internal components of your car, such as the engine, transmission, and suspension.
If the damage to your car is severe, it’s best to avoid driving it. Instead, contact a tow truck to transport your car to a repair shop or a salvage yard. Remember to take pictures of the damage to your car from various angles. These pictures will come in handy when filing an insurance claim or negotiating with the other party involved in the accident.
It’s essential to note that assessing the damage to your car is not a job for amateurs. If you’re not sure about the extent of the damage, it’s best to have a professional mechanic inspect your car.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After assessing the damage to your car, the next step is to contact your insurance company. Report the accident and provide them with all the necessary information, including the location and time of the accident, the extent of the damage to your car, and the contact information of the other party involved in the accident.
Your insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate the accident and determine the value of the damage to your car. It’s essential to cooperate with the adjuster and provide them with all the information they need to process your claim.
When dealing with a totaled car, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary documentation related to the accident. These documents will be useful when filing an insurance claim or negotiating with the other party involved in the accident.
The documentation you should collect includes:
- The police report
- Medical records, if applicable
- Photos of the accident scene
- Damage to your car
- Any witness statements
It’s also essential to keep all the receipts related to the repair or replacement of your car.
Negotiate With The Insurance Company
After you contact the insurance company about the accident, they will determine the value of your car. This value will be used to calculate the payout you receive for your totaled vehicle. If you feel that the insurance company’s valuation of your car is too low, you can negotiate with them. Provide evidence of your car’s condition, mileage, and any recent repairs or upgrades to support your argument for a higher payout.
If you need to negotiate with the insurance company, you should consider working with a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will talk to the insurance company on your behalf and do all the negotiating for you. They will help you win fair compensation to cover the damage done to your vehicle.
Consider Getting Legal Help
If the insurance company refuses to compensate you for your totaled car, then it’s time to contact a car accident lawyer in St. Louis. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Even with the help of an experienced lawyer, the insurance company may deny your claim and refuse to negotiate. If this happens, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit. They will represent you in court and ensure you win fair compensation for your damages.
Find A Replacement Car
After your car gets totaled, you can either try to get the vehicle repaired or rebuilt, or you can find a replacement car.
If you have rental car coverage, your insurance company may provide you with a rental car while you look for a replacement car. It’s important to start looking for a new car as soon as possible, especially if you depend on your car for work or other essential activities. Consider your budget, your transportation needs, and your preferences when looking for a new car.
If you’re unsure where to start, Jett Legal can provide resources and guidance to help you find a suitable replacement car. We can also help you negotiate with the insurance company to cover the cost of a replacement car.
Contact Jett Legal Today
Dealing with a totaled car can be overwhelming, but following these steps can make the process easier. Assess the damage to your car, contact your insurance company, gather all necessary documentation, and find a replacement car.
Remember to take pictures of the damage, keep all receipts related to the repair or replacement of your car, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help from the experienced car accident lawyers at Jett Legal. We can guide you through the entire process, from negotiating with your insurance company to finding a suitable replacement car.
Contact us today for a free case review.
Matt Jett is the CEO and Managing Partner of Jett Legal, a Missouri personal injury law firm. With more than 10 years of
experience in personal injury, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including car and truck
accidents, workers’ compensation, wrongful death, and other cases.
Matt received his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and is a member of the Missouri
Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including the Rising Stars distinction by Super Lawyers 2019-2022.