After an Accident, Is My Car a Total Loss?
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Post on 28-Nov-2014
DESCRIPTIONYou were driving your pride and joy down the highway on a sunny day without a care in the world. The stereo was belting out your favorite song, and the weekend was just around the corner. What could possibly go wrong? Suddenly, the answer to that question appeared in the form of a pickup truck on the wrong side of the road. The collision was inevitable; the damage was colossal, and you feel your once beautiful motor has been totaled. The insurance company disagrees, however, so its probably time to call in a Portland property damage attorney.
<ul><li> 1. Is My Car a Total Loss?You were driving your pride and joy down the highway on a sunny day without a care in the world.The stereo was belting out your favorite song, and the weekend was just around the corner. Whatcould possibly go wrong? Suddenly, the answer to that question appeared in the form of a pickuptruck on the wrong side of the road. The collision was inevitable; the damage was colossal, and youfeel your once beautiful motor has been totaled. The insurance company disagrees, however, so itsprobably time to call in a Portland property damage attorney.Who decides whether my car is a total loss?A number of factors will be used to determine whether or not your car is a total loss. An insuranceclaim adjuster will look to see whether: The damage to the car is so severe it cannot be repaired safely The cost of repairs is more than the car is actually worth The damage is severe enough that Oregon laws require the car to be declared a totallossOnce the insurance adjuster has arranged an inspection of your carwhich should occur within aday or two after the accident occurredthey will inform you whether or not your car has beenwritten off. At that stage, you will probably be asked to remove any personal items from the car,such as CDs, documents, any clothing left behind, etc. The adjuster will also want a key to yourvehicle, and will no doubt ask you to fill out the necessary forms, explaining your version of whathappened. You will also be asked for contact information, which will be provided to whateverfinancial institution organized the finance on your vehicle.My car is worth a lot more to me than blue book value.Lets face it. When your car has been totaled, no one wins. And about the only ones who dont loseare the finance companies. A Portland property damage attorney will advise you what your vehicle isactually worth, should you be unwilling to accept the insurance companys offer. Be aware that evenif the actual cash value (ACV) is about what you expected, you wont receive that amount in a writeoff situation. You may have treated your car like a baby, but the insurance companys offer will bebased on cars of a similar age, with similar mileage and with similar optional extras to your own. Theinsurance companys procedures will be to: Determine the ACV of your vehicle Add on applicable state fees and taxes The settlement will then be reduced by the deductible amount on your policy. The insurance company will also determine a scrappage value for your car, but this is atricky area. In some cases, if you surrender the vehicle, the insurance company will payyou what they deem a fair scrappage value. If you decide to hold onto the car, forsentimental reasons or because you think you could get more for it yourself, the</li></ul> <p> 2. insurance company may allow this, but they will deduct the scrappage value from yoursettlement offer.Its not necessary to accept the first offer the insurance company makes you. Remember, insurershave a vested interest in paying the smallest possible settlements, and you may want a Portlandproperty damage attorney to negotiate a better offer for your car. Rather than just accepting theNADA blue book offer, try comparing the value of your vehicle with those on www.Edmunds.com,which may give a fairer reflection of what your car was really worth.Who gets paid first?As stated earlier, the finance companies are the only ones not to lose out in these situations. Once afinal settlement figure has been agreed, if you own the vehicle outright, you will receive the check inyour own name. If, however, a finance agreement is in place, the payment to settle that agreementin full will be made to the finance company first. If theres anything left over, youll get the balance,but if the settlement doesnt cover what you owe the finance company, youll still be responsible forthe balance.Paying for a car that youll never drive again is a horrible reality that no one wants to face, but manyend up having to deal with. There is a way to protect yourself against this eventuality, however.Gap insurance will cover you for unpaid balances in just such a situation, and you should checkwith your finance company to see whether you have gap insurance built into your agreement.Having your car written off is a miserable, traumatic event for drivers of all ages. Yet it happensevery day in Oregon and across the rest of the country as well. You can protect yourself financiallyby having appropriate insurance cover, including gap insurance built into your finance agreement. If,however, you feel you are being unfairly treated by the insurance company, or you simply wantsome good advice, then contact a reputable, experienced Portland property damage attorney, whowill listen to your story and then clearly explain the various options that are open to you. </p>
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