What to do if Your Car is Totaled In a Truck Accident

Wrecked

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. In the aftermath of the accident, you will have a lot to deal with. The foremost priority is making sure that you are OK. If you have been in a recent truck accident you need to make sure that you are healthy. You may need to contact someone like a truck accident attorney in Denver to look after your claim and make sure your medical needs are taken care of. Once you have taken care of yourself, dealing with a wrecked car or truck can be tough. You’re probably still shaken from the accident that caused it and you have to say goodbye to the vehicle you loved. You will also probably have to find a new ride in a short period of time. With all that is going on, taking care of your "totaled" vehicle may feel daunting, even if you know what to do and have a plan. Even more, if you don’t know what to do, you might be feeling lost and overwhelmed.

“Totaled” is an insurance industry term and applies to vehicles that are deemed to be unrepairable or worth less than the cost to repair it. Most of the time "totaled" or "total loss" is used if the repairs are equal to or greater than approximately 70% of the vehicle’s value — although that percentage will vary by provider and case. If you do find that your vehicle has been totaled after an accident, you have a few options. You can take the insurance check, sell it as a salvage vehicle, pay for repairs yourself, or donate it to charity.

Insurance Money

Assuming that total coverage has been purchased for the car, most people with a totaled vehicle choose to take the money provided by their insurance carrier. Once the vehicle has been deemed totaled by your insurance company or the insurance provider of the at-fault driver, you will be offered a settlement. A dollar amount for the vehicle’s worth before the accident will be calculated using a formula and you will be sent a check for that amount, minus any deductible.

After you find out the total amount that the insurance company is willing to pay, you should do some research to find out the value of your car or truck. This will let you determine if you are getting fair compensation. Once you’ve settled with the insurance company, you will sign over the vehicle title to them. If you have a car loan, the lender holds the title and will be included in this transaction. It’s also very important to know that if you still owe money on that car loan, you remain responsible for paying it off, even if the car is totaled.

Salvage

If you haven't purchased full coverage on your totaled vehicle, you can still get some money out of it by selling it to a junkyard or salvage company. You can also investigate this option if you feel that you can get more from salvage than insurance. If you decide to do this, the first step is acquiring a salvage certificate by contacting your local motor vehicle agency. Once you have the salvage certificate, call around to junkyards or businesses that offer to help you sell a totaled vehicle. A simple Google search of, "sell junk car" will set you on your way.

These businesses can make money on salvage vehicles by repairing and re-selling them or by stripping them down for parts. Some will tow your totaled car in for minimal or no charge, while others will charge premium rates and charge you for non-metal disposal fees. When the salvage company or junkyard pays you for your totaled vehicle, you’ll sign the salvage certificate over to them so that they can take ownership of the car.

Repair

There are a few circumstances when you might decide to repair your totaled car yourself. The most important things to consider with this decision are the value of your car, the amount of your deductible, and the cost of repairs. If your car is worth $5,000 and your deductible is $1,500, taking the payout from your insurance company might not make sense. In this case, the deductible will eat into a large portion of the payment and leave you with only $3,500 to spend on a new car. This option is really only realistic for people with older cars. If your $50,000 car is totaled, it will probably make the most sense to take the insurance check and start over.

Charity

Finally, if you don’t need any cash compensation for your totaled vehicle, you might want to consider donating it to a charity. If you are going to do this, it will require some time and research. You will need to find an organization that will be willing to take your junk car and sell it themselves for salvage or repair it. While this might take some time, it could lead to a tax deduction, depending on the charity and the value of your car.

After an automobile accident, things can seem overwhelming and frustrating. You will need to navigate medical claims, auto claims, and finding a new car. Taking some time to consider your options for your totaled car, however, can help you make the best decision for your situation.

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