Car accidents can leave behind hefty bills for an individual to pay, as well as the mental and emotional costs these traumatic accidents can cause. If you or a loved one still owes money on a car that was totaled in an accident, the attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can help you seek extra compensation.
It’s likely your insurance did not cover the entire accident and we know the ins and outs of what to do to find additional help to help cover this stressful situation. If you’re unsure of what your options are for continuing to pay on your totaled car, speaking to one of our legal representatives can greatly help.
If Your Car Was Deemed a “Total Loss”
Did your insurance deem your car as a total loss? Here’s what that means.
A total loss means the repairs of the cost are greater than a certain percentage of your car’s value. Your insurance policy will likely use 80% as the cutoff mark. The unfortunate part is your car’s value decreases over time. Some cars’ value decreases more rapidly than others.
If you have a newer car with a value of $8,000, then the 80% rule means that repairs cannot exceed $6,400, or else it’s a total loss. If your repairs come out to be less than $6,400, then your insurance company will continue with repairs.
When a car is deemed as a total loss, the insurance company will give you a check with the amount of the value of the car to put towards your loan to help pay it off because unfortunately, you still have to pay off the car loans in these situations. Even if the amount on your loan is more than the check your insurance company gives you, the loan still has to be paid off.
There is still the possibility that after the wreck, if your car is a total loss and there’s not much left on your loan, you could have some spare change. If this happens, you can use the remaining amount from the check to purchase a newer vehicle.
Use Your Gap Insurance
Not everyone has gap insurance, but if you do, now would be a great time to use it.
If you don’t have gap insurance, you might consider obtaining it for your next vehicle after experiencing the damages a totaled car can bring. Gap insurance is insurance that pays off your car loan in the case of a car accident where your car is totaled, and you owe more than the value.
For example, if you decided to add the optional gap insurance when you bought your new car at $17,000, you would still owe $12,000 after a few years of paying off your loan when your car is totaled. Your insurance coverage would pay its value, which we’ll say is $9,000, but that means there’s still $3,000 left to pay.
Without gap insurance, you would have to pay that $3,000 out of pocket. With gap insurance, it’s fully covered.
File a Lawsuit for Extra Compensation
There is always the option to file a lawsuit for extra compensation if you don’t have gap insurance and need help finding extra compensation to pay the remainder of your loan.
Hiring an experienced attorney can help you better understand the legal world of this situation, and help negotiate a fairer amount from your insurance. They can also help you file a claim against the other driver.
If you decide to file a lawsuit against the other driver, you have two options: A third-party claim or a personal injury claim. However, it’s important for you to note that Florida operates as a no-fault state. This means when car accidents occur, all parties are responsible for the accident, even if it’s clear the other driver was the cause.
That still does not mean you don’t have the option to file one of these two claims for extra compensation. It simply means that if the case is taken to trial, the jury will find both parties partially responsible, but the other driver will carry most of the blame.
A third-party claim is when you file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company, assuming the at-fault driver has insurance.
Because of Florida’s no-fault rule, you will have to file a third-party claim for property damage. If you hire a trustworthy Port St. Lucie car accident lawyer, they can handle this process for you and speak to the other driver’s insurer.
When you file a third-party claim for property damage, the other driver’s insurer will be responsible for covering their coverage limit. Therefore, if your total losses equaled out to $30,000, but the other driver’s coverage caps out at $20,000, you still have to make up for $10,000.
Personal Injury Claim
Another route you could take for extra compensation to help with a car accident is to file a personal injury claim.
Personal injury might be hard to swing in this case, but if you suffered physical damages, you could go this route for extra compensation. Filing a personal injury claim means you are suing the other driver for obtaining harm or injury due to another person’s negligence.
Personal injury cases are best fought with an attorney who can take the evidence of damages you sustained from the accident, such as your health and totaled car, and help build your case to negotiate a fair settlement against the other individual.
You can use a personal injury claim to receive extra compensation for the total cost of economic or non-economic damages that can go towards repairing your car or paying off hospital bills. Economic damages are everything that can be added up such as car damages, hospital bills, and time off work. Non-economic damages are mental and emotional impacts, loss of life, or ability impacts that the jury feels you deserve from the other person.
Speaking to your Port St. Lucie car accident lawyer about filing a personal injury claim can help you decide if this is the right route to take after examining all angles.
Let Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Settle Your Case
Let’s face it, bills can pile up quickly after a car accident, and when your car is totaled, the last thing you want to do is worry about paying off the rest of the loan.
With excellent attorneys on your side like the ones at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, you can find a great solution when seeking extra compensation. Our firm has been helping Port St. Lucie, Florida residents for 40 years. We have the expertise and legal background to help you seek a favorable outcome in your car accident claim.
You can call us anytime at (561) 800-8000 to speak to a representative about scheduling your free consultation, or you can fill out our free case evaluation online here. We will answer any questions you may have and discuss our services that can best help you.
Don’t wait any longer to find the help you need. Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today.