Available 24/7 for Consultation
Call for Consultation

What To Do If Your Car Is Totaled?

Posted on 03/15/23

Getting into a vehicle accident is never fun, but a totaled vehicle can certainly impact your finances. It is crucial to understand what it means for a car to be totaled. If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, we encourage you to reach out to a Laredo accident attorney who could help you with any injury and property damage expenses you have. Here, we want to discuss what you can do if you get told your car is totaled.

What Does Totaled Mean for a Car?

What does it actually mean for a car to be totaled after an accident occurs in Texas? When we examine information available from WalletHub, we can see that that car will be considered totaled in this state if the cost of repairing the vehicle added to the salvage value of the vehicle is at least 100% of the vehicle’s actual cash value.

For example, let us suppose that a vehicle in question had a pre-cash value of $10,000. However, after an accident occurs, let us assume that the cost of repairs is $3,000 and the salvage value of the vehicle is $8,000. The cost of repairs and the salvage value add up to $11,000, which is more than the pre-cash value of the vehicle. This would be a total loss.

If a car is considered totaled in the state of Texas, then the policyholder should receive the vehicle’s actual cash value from the insurance carrier. Insurance carriers are also required to cover the applicable title costs and taxes in the event the policyholder purchases a vehicle to replace the totaled vehicle.

What if You Think Your Car Isn’t Totaled?

If you think your vehicle is worth more than what the insurance carrier decided as the pre-cash value, this may mean that your vehicle is not totaled. However, you have to ask yourself whether or not the goal is to get your vehicle repaired by the insurance carrier or to get enough money to replace your vehicle. We encourage you to reach out to a skilled car accident and property damage attorney who can examine the facts of your case and help you determine the best route moving forward.

An attorney can help determine whether or not to push for more compensation to replace your current vehicle or to have the insurance carrier repair your current vehicle. This process may involve obtaining multiple estimates of the vehicle’s pre-cash value.

Can You Personally Fix The Car?

If you do want to keep your vehicle, you will have to let the insurance carrier know as quickly as possible. The insurance carrier will subtract the salvage value of the vehicle from the amount they planned to pay you. Additionally, the car will likely be issued a salvage title, and individuals who repair these vehicles will need to obtain a new title from the Texas DMV before they can operate it.

Remember the Property Damage Limits

At a minimum, drivers in Texas must carry $25,000 in property damage liability insurance. Some drivers opt to carry more coverage than this. The insurance carriers will only pay up to the limits of the policy, so keep that in mind when discussing your options. In the event the policyholder’s insurance limits do not cover all of the costs, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue payment from the at-fault party directly.