Total loss value is calculated in Texas based on the fair market value of your vehicle. According to Texas law, damages constitute a total loss if the cost of repairs minus any salvage value is greater than the vehicle’s worth.
What Is Your Vehicle’s Fair Market Value?
Total loss value in Texas is calculated using the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) guide to determine the listed retail value of your vehicle as of the date of loss. The insurance company can use similar official used car guides, such as Kelley Blue Book, as well.
When seeking a valuation, the insurance company will consider your vehicle’s condition, mileage, and equipment package. If the estimated cost of repairing the damages equals or exceeds the fair market value of your car, the insurance company will likely offer you a settlement for its replacement.
What if You Disagree With the Insurance Company’s Valuation?
Insurance companies profit by keeping settlements as low as possible. If you are not satisfied with the amount offered for your vehicle, you can negotiate. According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), you will need to show that the settlement does not provide adequate funds to pay for a vehicle replacement in your market. You will need:
- Quotes from local used car dealers for comparable vehicles
- Quotes from online used vehicle sales sites
- Proof of features that may add value to your totaled vehicle, such as custom parts or special equipment
If you cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, you can take legal action to seek financial recovery. An attorney with our firm can tell you more.
Can You Pursue Other Car Accident Damages?
Yes, if your accident was not your fault, you can seek additional financial recovery if you suffered an injury or other losses. Car accident claims may include recovery for:
- Medical care – If you sustained an injury, you can seek the cost of your past and future accident-related treatment. This includes emergency transportation, emergency department care, medical procedures, hospital stays, rehabilitation, long-term care services, medical equipment, and more.
- Pain and suffering – Severe injuries can take a physical, mental, and emotional toll. You can seek recovery for your injuries’ effect on your overall quality of life. This may include financial recovery for scarring and disfigurement, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, loss of sleep, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages – You may need to take time off work because of your accident. You can recover your lost wages, as well as future lost earnings if your injuries prevent you from returning to work.
- Personal property – Personal property damages may include more than the value of your vehicle. You can seek recovery for other damaged property, including cell phones, laptops, or stereo equipment.
Texas Insurance Requirements
Texas drivers must carry insurance to pay for accidents they cause. According to the TDI, the state requires motorists to have $30,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) to pay for injuries to one person, $60,000 in BIL per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Keep in mind these are insurance minimums. If the driver liable for your accident does not have additional coverage and your losses exceed these amounts, you may have to seek financial recovery via a lawsuit.
How Long Do You Have To File a Claim?
You should get started on a claim for your vehicle damages and other losses as soon as you can following your accident. If you cannot achieve a fair settlement through insurance negotiations, you can take your case to civil court.
According to Texas law, you have two years from the time of your accident to file a personal injury or property damages lawsuit. If you do not take action within the window established by the statute of limitations, you may not be able to seek recovery.
How Can Our Car Accident Attorneys Help With Your Case?
An attorney with our firm can help you negotiate a fair settlement for your vehicle’s total loss value and other accident-related damages. Our team will:
- File your insurance claim
- Gather evidence proving the other driver is at-fault
- Communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Manages case-related paperwork and deadlines
- Take your case to trial if necessary
When you work with us, you get a full-service law firm at your disposal. We will meet where and when is most convenient for you, answer all of your questions, and return your calls and emails in a timely fashion.
Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC® for Assistance With Your Car Accident Case
Our attorneys are here to fight for your rights. Since our firm’s founding in 2002, we have helped thousands of clients obtain a financial recovery. To learn more about how we can help you get back on your feet, call our offices at (713) 850-8600 for a free case evaluation.