It’s one thing to lose your car to an auto accident, it’s an entirely separate type of devastation when you still owed on your totaled vehicle. If you financed your car or even had it on a lease, you were legally obligated to pay the full specified amount in the contract, along with any fees and interest.
In an ideal world, this contract would be forgiven if your car lost to a collision. Unfortunately, the reality is quite the opposite. The terms of your contract don’t end when your car gets totaled – you are still obligated to return the money that was loaned to you. Still, you don’t need to fear. There are many ways to work your way through this process, and you don’t have to do it alone. Here are the options available to you and points to consider if your vehicle becomes totaled in an accident.
What Does it Mean When a Car is Totaled?
Firstly, you need to recognize what it means when your car is deemed to be “totaled,” so that you don’t become too stressed about the wrong thing should your car be reparable. Any vehicle that is beyond repair in the sense that the costs of said repair would far outweigh the value of the vehicle in its condition before the accident occurred.
Yours or the other party’s insurance company (depending on who is found to be at fault) is responsible for determining whether your vehicle is totaled or not. Once the decision has been made, a settlement check will be issued accordingly.
Again, depending on who was at fault (or the percentage of fault either party is determined to have) and the type of coverage you have, your insurance company may be responsible for providing compensation for the loss.
What Happens if the Remaining Balance Was More Than the Car’s Value?
The hard truth is that, if you do not have adequate insurance coverage and are left with a balance on your vehicle, you are likely to be left with the responsibility of paying that back. This obligation is not compromised according to the amount you owe – meaning that even if you are left with thousands of dollars to pay back, you do not get an exception.
This can be even further complicated if you happen to sustain injuries from the accident, as the funds will first be allocated to covering any medical costs associated with the incident. There are so many caveats to what can influence your eligibility for coverage of your totaled vehicle. However, the situation is not hopeless.
What to do When Your Car Has Been Totaled
If you find yourself in such a bind, the best option for you is to hire an accident attorney. An accident attorney will be able to conduct further investigations into all financial and injury-related aspects of your collision and determine the best course of action to get your totaled vehicle fully covered. Do not attempt to go it alone in such a devastating situation, as you may be robbing yourself of thousands of dollars. Call an attorney as soon as possible and get the help you need to be free of residual payments.