Among the first questions asked after an auto accident is, “Is anyone hurt?” At some point after seeing the damage done to their car, vehicle owners ask, “What am I going to do with my car?”
What happens to the vehicles after a car accident depends on the extent of the damage. Vehicle owners can either repair their cars and pursue compensation from the driver that caused the crash or their auto insurance companies may declare their wreck a total loss.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident or have questions about what happens to your vehicle after a car crash, contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC. We can help you fight for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other monetary losses. Call us at 865-546-1111 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
Should I Contact My Insurance Company After a Crash?
After an accident, we recommend that you contact your auto insurance company to report the accident and the damage done to your car. Your insurer may have a claims adjuster inspect the damage or it may ask an auto body shop to inspect your vehicle. This helps the insurer determine whether you can repair your vehicle or if it is a total loss.
How Do I Pursue Compensation for Car Repairs?
If you can repair your car, Tennessee allows you to pursue financial compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Our law firm has more than 20 years of combined experience in handling all aspects of insurance claims—from filing the claim to negotiating a settlement. We can help you with the claims process if you want to recover costs for your property damages.
If the at-fault driver did not have insurance, you may file a claim with your own auto insurer if you have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. UM coverage protects you when an uninsured driver causes an accident and you suffer injuries and property damage. UIM coverage protects you when the at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough to cover damages from the accident.
We can review your auto policy to help you determine whether you have UM/UIM coverage. Under state law, all auto insurance companies must offer this coverage, but policyholders can reject it in writing.
What Is the Car Accident Claims Process Like?
Before we settle your claim to get money from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to repair your vehicle, we will investigate your accident. Our case must show that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused an accident and you sustained property damage. If you suffered physical injuries, we will also present information, such as your medical expenses, lost wages from work you missed during your recovery, and other damages you may have incurred because of the crash.
Insurance companies usually do not want to pay for damages policyholders cause, so we anticipate the insurer to offer a low settlement or find excuses to deny the claim. We aggressively advocate for fair compensation for our clients and counter any objections that insurers raise with the proof we gather during our investigation.
What If My Car Is a Total Loss?
Under state guidelines, an insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss or a “salvaged vehicle” when the cost to repair the damage is more than 75 percent of the actual cash value and the vehicle is under 10 years old. Owners of salvaged cars must file a total loss claim with their auto insurers.
If you want to keep your salvaged vehicle, you can accept a partial payment from your insurance company for your car’s cash value. Then, you can:
- Sell your vehicle for scrapping or recycling;
- Apply for a “salvage title,” which prevents you from driving your vehicle; or
- Repair your vehicle and apply for a rebuilt title so you can drive it again.
If you own a non-repairable vehicle, Tennessee requires you to apply for a Non-repairable Certificate, which prevents the vehicle from being titled or registered in Tennessee.
There are steps to take to rebuild your vehicle and receive a Rebuilt Title. Rebuilt vehicles require a thorough inspection as a way to prevent fraud and protect all involved parties.
If you do not want to keep your vehicle, you may sign your car title over to your insurance company and accept the cash value for your car.
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you pursue compensation for damages done to your vehicle and for injuries you sustained in the accident. Call us now at 865-546-1111 for a free, legal consultation with one of our car accident lawyers. We can discuss your vehicle damage and the steps you can take to repair or salvage your vehicle.