What Happens if Your Car Gets Totaled and You Still Owe Money?

Rutter Mills Law Firm

What Happens if Your Car Gets Totaled and You Still Owe Money?

Car Accident Info

When you purchase a vehicle, you are contractually obligated to pay for it even if it is not worth what you still owe. If you are in an accident and the car is totaled, you are still responsible for paying it off.

Luckily, there is an insurance option known as Gap coverage that can cover the loss, but you need to have it in place before the accident. If you do not have this coverage, your car accident lawyer can help you determine whether other compensation may be available to cover what you still owe on the vehicle.

When is a vehicle “totaled”?

If an accident has left your vehicle damaged to the point that the insurance company deems it not repairable, it is considered a total loss, or “totaled.” In Virginia, once a vehicle is deemed nonrepairable, the insurance company must report it to the state, which will issue a salvage title. This prevents the vehicle from ever being registered or driven again; it may only be used for parts.

Compensation for a totaled vehicle

Under your insurance policy, you are entitled to the same kind and quality to what you had before a covered loss. When an auto insurer pays for a vehicle that cannot be repaired, it will pay for the actual cash value of the car immediately before the accident. This is often based on the blue book value, and if it had unique features or upgrades– the owner could submit documentation to increase the valuation.

In exchange for paying the insurance claim, the owner gives up the right to keep the car. Instead, the insurance company takes the title and reports it as a salvage vehicle.

What is Gap coverage?

Gap insurance is also known as Guaranteed Asset Protection. It bridges a potential liability if you owe more on your auto loan than the car is worth. When it kicks into effect, Gap insurance will pay the difference between your vehicle’s actual cash value and the amount you owe. However, some other costs, such as penalties on late loan payments, extended warranties, and specifically excluded charges, may not be covered. Our team of car accident lawyers can help you sort through these issues so that you get the best value for it.

Fight for full compensation for your losses

If you were involved in an accident in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, or Portsmouth and have incurred losses like property damage and medical bills, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a car accident attorney at Rutter Mills for free. We help car accident victims go up against the insurance companies to receive the full compensation they are owed.

Contact a Rutter Mills attorney to speak about your case today.

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Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

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On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

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After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

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After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

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After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

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When the insurance company tried to get Carol to sign paperwork after her car accident, she knew she needed a lawyer. Carol knew she needed Rutter Mills.

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Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

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A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

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When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

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They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

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