When you total your car, it means that it is not economically reasonable for the insurance company to pay to have it fixed. According to IC § 9-22-3-3, Indiana considers a car totaled if the cost of repairs exceeds 70 percent of the vehicle’s fair market value.
How Can You Seek Compensation for Vehicle Damages in Indiana?
If another driver caused your accident, you can seek a claim for your damages through their automobile insurance provider. According to the Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI), all motorists must have $25,000 in property damage liability and $25,000 per injury/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability.
Drivers can also carry additional medical coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. Usually, if you have a loan on your vehicle, your lender will require you to have a collision/comprehensive policy. If you have these policies and your car is totaled, you may seek recovery from your own insurance provider.
Finally, if an uninsured or underinsured driver caused your crash or your vehicle suffered damages during a hit-and-run accident, you can turn to your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Indiana requires all drivers to have $25,000 in property damage protection for these types of accidents, as well as $25,000/$50,000 in bodily injury liability.
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How Does the Insurance Company Determine Total Loss Value?
As mentioned, the insurance company will determine your vehicle is totaled if the cost of repairs exceeds 70 percent of the car’s fair market value. But, how does the insurance company decide the worth of your vehicle?
Insurance companies usually use one of two guides to determine your car’s retail value: the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) guide or Kelley Blue Book. Things the insurance agent will consider when making a valuation include:
- Your car’s condition immediately before your accident
- Your car’s year, make, and model
- Vehicle mileage
- Your vehicle’s equipment package
- Vehicle enhancements and accessories (such as stereo or navigation equipment, engine modifications, or custom paint)
- The cost of buying a comparable car in your area
What Will the Insurance Company Offer You for Your Totaled Car?
If your insurance claim is successful, the insurance company will usually offer you one of two settlement options:
- They pay for a replacement vehicle.
- They pay you the actual cash value (ACV) of your car.
Keep in mind, whether seeking compensation from your insurer or that of another driver, the company will only pay up to the policy’s limit. So if you still owe on your vehicle and the ACV offered does not cover your loan, you may need to seek additional damages with a lawsuit. An attorney with our firm can tell you more.
What If You Disagree With the Insurance Company’s Assessment?
If you disagree with the insurance company’s valuation of your car’s worth, you can negotiate. Additionally, you can file a lawsuit if you cannot reach an agreement or the insurance company is not acting in good faith.
If you must pursue your case in court, in general, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your property damages and other losses, according to IC § 34-11-2-4. Make sure you act before the statute of limitations expires, which will likely result in the court refusing your case.
Can You Pursue Other Car Accident Damages?
If you suffered physical injuries in the car accident that totaled your vehicle, you can seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This may include awards for:
- Emergency care
- Medical procedures
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Medical devices
- Lost wages
- Loss of your future earning potential
- Mental anguish
- Stress and anxiety
- Physical pain
- Loss of mobility or paralysis
- Assistance with household services
- Transportation and rental car fees
To win your insurance claim or lawsuit against a liable party, you must prove that your crash resulted from the other driver’s negligent or reckless behavior. We can help you show your injuries are due to another driver:
- Driving under the influence
- Making an improper turn
- Traveling in the wrong lane
- Texting and driving
- Failing to stop at a marked intersection
Sometimes, road or vehicle issues cause accidents. We can help you pursue a case against a manufacturer, government entity, or private roadway owner if your crash was because of a blown tire, faulty brakes, dangerous road design, negligent road maintenance, or another car or roadway problem.
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How Can an Attorney With Our Firm Help WIth Your Case?
We can help you seek an insurance settlement through your provider or an at-fault driver’s insurance company. If necessary, we are not afraid to take on insurers in court or pursue a personal injury case against a negligent party. We will:
- File your claims or lawsuits
- Prove fault using eyewitness statements, crash reconstruction experts, and photographs and video footage of your crash and the scene of your accident
- Obtain your medical bills and records and consult with medical experts
- Help you get quotes for your car repairs and prove your damages are a total loss
- Obtain quotes from local car dealers and online dealerships demonstrating your totaled vehicle’s worth
- Help you prove you deserve compensation for any special after-market equipment or features added to your vehicle
- Obtain law enforcement accident reports
- Communicate with insurance agents on your behalf
- Negotiate a fair settlement for your vehicle damages and other losses
- Represent you at trial if needed
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Reach Out to Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Today
You do not have to fight for compensation alone. We know that insurance claims can quickly become complicated, especially if there is any dispute over fault or the value of your damages. As a firm dedicated solely to personal injury law, we know what it takes to get the awards you deserve.
We are passionate about helping our clients seek justice, and we do not want to add to your financial stress. We can take your case on contingency, meaning you do not owe us a fee unless we achieve a settlement or verdict in your favor. To learn more, call our offices at (317) 636-7777 for a free consultation.