Cars, like everything else these days, are very expensive. As a result, only a few people have the cash to buy a car without financing or leasing it. Unfortunately, auto accidents occur irrespective of whether you still owe money on the vehicle. Even if your insurance company totals your car, you still have to pay your loan. Then you may need to buy or lease another car on top of paying back what you borrowed.
This situation seems utterly unfair, especially if another person caused your accident. Because of another’s negligence, you may be strapped with medical bills, lost wages, and no car. So what can you do? You may have several options, including filing a damage claim against the responsible party.
You’ll need the right law firm to help solve your problems. At Silva Injury Law, our California car accident lawyers are ready to help. We’re not like other injury law firms. We are human beings, first and foremost. We relentlessly pursue resolutions to your problems instead of simply fighting for every last settlement dollar. Contact our firm today so we can start helping you back on the road and get your life back on track.
Am I Responsible to Pay Off My Car After a Car Crash?
Yes, you are. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with this bill. However, unless you have general auto protection (GAP) insurance, you’re on the hook for the full amount, even if the insurance company “totals” your car.
The California vehicle code does not declare a car to be totaled based on a certain percentage of the cost of repairs. Instead, the law says that a car is a total loss if the insurance company determines repairing the vehicle is “uneconomical.”
Insurance companies use a simple formula called the total loss threshold to calculate whether repairing a vehicle is uneconomical. The total loss formula compares the actual cash value of the car to the cost of repairs plus the salvage value of the damaged vehicle.
An appraiser will determine the cost of the damages. Then, an insurance adjuster will determine the insurance company’s financial responsibility. The company will either cut a check for repairs or declare the car a total loss.
If the insurance company pays for repairs, your body shop will make the repairs, and the insurance company will pay the shop. You get to keep the car.
The insurance company cuts a check to the finance company and buys your car if they declare a total loss. You have to pay the balance of the loan. There are situations where you could keep your car even though it is totaled.
Financed Car Accident Claims
You are lucky if you survived your car crash with a few bumps and bruises. Typically, people sustain serious injuries in accidents that result in total vehicle loss. Consequently, recovering property damages will be a portion of your overall claim.
The value of your claim will depend on several factors, including:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Future medical expenses,
- Potential lost future income,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Property damage.
You can claim other losses as well, depending on your situation.
The other driver’s insurance company will not wait to investigate the accident. They might have to pay you a lot of money. They will do what they can to limit their liability, including offering you a quick settlement.
The idea of settling the matter quickly is enticing because it puts money in your pocket right away. That’s risky, and here’s why.
The insurance company will require you to release them from all future claims when they settle your claim. Accordingly, you cannot go back to them and claim additional money if your medical bills or lost wages are much greater than you thought. Insurance companies account for all your losses, including property damage, in your settlement. Leaving the negotiating to us is the best way to handle this situation.
Do You Have Questions About What Happens If You Crash a Financed Car In California?
At Silva Injury Law, we understand how difficult life may be for you and your family after you’ve been involved in a car accident. Calling our office immediately to explore your options, including filing a legal claim against the party who caused your accident, is the best way to start putting your life back together. Call us or use our online form to request a free consultation. We achieve the best possible results by promoting healing through compassionate advocacy. Click here to learn how other families benefited from our client-centered philosophy.
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At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.