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Total Loss Car Accidents: What To Do Next

total loss car accident in Texas
Our Corpus Christi car accident lawyers explain what a total loss accident is and how to seek compensation for your damages in a claim.

Texas car accidents happen on an unfortunately frequent basis and can result in serious personal injuries and property damages. Depending on the severity of your crash, this may include reimbursement for the costs of repairing your vehicle if it’s deemed a “total loss”. If this is the case, your settlement amount should be enough to cover replacement costs. At The Burkett Law Firm, our three generations of Corpus Christi car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need to recover in the aftermath of a total loss car accident in Texas.

What is considered a “total loss” in a car accident?

A car accident is considered a total loss when your vehicle is either damaged beyond the point of repair or when the total amount of the parts and labor to fix it is more than the costs of replacing the vehicle. Total loss car accidents are common in head-on, rear end, and side impact or t-bone collisions, as well as in truck accidents or any type of crash between a larger and smaller vehicle. The reckless driving behaviors of others, such as speeding, running red lights, and driving distracted or driving under the influence, are often to blame.   

According to CCC Information Services, a software company that tracks auto insurance claims, an average of 15 percent of crashes are reported as a total loss. This means that out of the roughly 13,000 car accidents resulting in serious personal injuries reported by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) each year, roughly 2,000 of these are likely to result in a total loss. 

What happens in a total loss accident?

Property damages can represent a significant portion of the compensation you may be entitled to in a Texas car accident claim. In the aftermath of a car accident in Corpus Christi, an insurance adjuster will survey the extent of the damage to your vehicle and determine the total loss ratio, which is the costs of repairing your car versus its actual cash value (ACV). 

Each state has a different total loss threshold (TLT), which refers to the percent of damages that must be present to consider the car a total loss. In Texas, the TLT is 100 percent. This means that if repair costs are equal to or greater than the ACV, the insurer will classify the car as a total loss. Generally, they will then take ownership of it through a salvage title.

Once they pay the appropriate fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles and have the salvage title in place, they then have the option of either junking the car or making any needed repairs and selling it, disclosing its salvaged status to prospective buyers. This helps in offset costs the insurer pays out in your claim. 

What should you do after a total loss car accident in Corpus Christi? To help ensure you get the compensation you need to cover your losses and replace your vehicle, take the following actions:   

  • Research your car’s current market value;
  • Review the terms of your car loan and determine what the pay-off amount is;
  • Check your auto insurance policy for gap coverage, which pays off your car loan if you are involved in a total loss accident;
  • Research how much it will cost you to get a comparable replacement vehicle.

How to seek compensation after a total loss car accident

couple reviewing car loan paperwork after total loss car accident
After a Texas total loss accident, be sure to review your car loan details and contact an experienced Corpus Christi lawyer to pursue compensation for your losses.

When any type of car accident in Corpus Christi happens, regardless of whether it results in minor property damages or a total loss, there are important steps you need to take in the immediate aftermath. These help to protect your rights to compensation in a claim and include: 

  • Call 911 immediately and report the accident;
  • Get the names and contact information for other drivers at the scene;
  • Gather evidence, which includes getting the names and phone numbers of any witnesses and taking pictures of both your injuries and the damage to your vehicle; 
  • Seek immediate medical care, regardless of the severity of your injuries, and follow your doctor’s instructions regarding treatment and work or activity restrictions;
  • Contact your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible;
  • Contact our Corpus Christi car accident lawyers before making any statements or signing any documents. 

 

Our Corpus Christi car accident lawyers will pursue compensation for your total loss accident

Between personal injuries you sustain and the damage to your vehicle, a total loss car accident can be devastating. To get the professional legal representation you need to recover compensation for your losses, reach out to The Burkett Law Firm, where every case is personal. Since 1960, our Corpus Christi car accident lawyers have been dedicated to helping each client get the maximum amount of compensation in a claim. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.