Indiana is an at-fault state for automobile insurance, meaning if you are involved in a traffic collision that is another driver’s fault, and if your vehicle is deemed a “total” loss because of that accident, the other driver’s insurance company will be liable to pay for your vehicle.
What will an auto insurance company offer for your totaled truck, car, or SUV? If your vehicle is a total loss, successfully negotiating an acceptable settlement may pose a challenge.
If you need to, will you be able to prove that your vehicle is a total loss because an at-fault driver was negligent? Will you be able to prove your vehicle’s true value and obtain that amount from an at-fault driver’s insurance company? An Evansville personal injury attorney will answer those questions.
How is Total Loss Defined? What is a Total Loss Threshold?
In a general sense, when the amount of money required to make repairs to a vehicle after an accident exceeds the vehicle’s true worth, the vehicle is deemed a total loss. In some states, including Indiana, there has been established an even lower total loss threshold.
In Nevada, for example, the damage that will cost 65 percent or more of a vehicle’s worth makes that vehicle a total loss. The figure in Florida, for instance, is 80 percent. However, the figure here in the state of Indiana is 70 percent.
In other words, if repairing your vehicle in this state will cost you more than 70 percent of that vehicle’s genuine value, Indiana considers the vehicle a total loss, and an at-fault driver’s auto insurance company should reimburse you for the vehicle’s full actual value.
Proving Total Loss
In most cases, it will not be difficult to prove a total loss. You will need to obtain repair estimates and compare them with the vehicle’s NADA or Kelly Blue Book value. However, should you sustain a personal injury or injuries in an Indiana traffic accident, it is recommended you consult with an attorney prior to negotiating any terms with your insurance company. Any person injured by another motorist’s negligence is entitled to compensation for medical expenditures, lost wages, and related losses and damages.
Steps to Take Following an Accident
Accidents of any sort can be scary. To ensure safety for all involved, follow these steps after an accident:
- Remain calm and ensure you are uninjured
- Check yourself and others for injuries
- Call the police
- Document the accident by taking photographic evidence if you are physically able to
- Collect information from witnesses including phone numbers and contact info
- Seek medical attention (even if you feel fine)
- Contact the attorneys at Tuley Law Office
What is “Modified Comparative Negligence?”
To bring a personal injury action in Indiana, you must be less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. Even if you are partially at fault, you may seek compensation for your injuries, but the compensation you obtain will be modified (reduced) by your share of responsibility for the crash. In other words, if you are deemed 25 percent responsible for a vehicle accident, and if the total amount of your damages comes to $100,000, you are entitled to only $75,000.
If you are not injured in a traffic accident, you may not need an attorney’s help to negotiate a damage claim or a total loss claim. These are routine auto insurance procedures, and many people find it more expedient to negotiate damage or total loss claim without a lawyer’s help.
Negotiating a Total Loss Claim
As in many cases, evidence is needed to support your claim. Evidence you need for an auto accident proving total loss may include before-and-after photos, receipts for repairs and upgrades, and estimates from mechanics, body shops, or appraisers. When you negotiate damage or total loss claim on your own with an insurance company, you must have the facts on your side.
Contact an Indiana Accident Attorney Today
The legal team at Tuley Law Office has decades of combined experience to assist you throughout the legal process. Contact a member of our team today for a no-cost case evaluation.