A total loss car accident can see you and your loved ones contend with a crash so severe that it totals your car. These accidents can rob you of your primary mode of transportation while simultaneously putting you at risk for severe, if not deadly, injuries. Recovering from a total loss car crash can take years, even without considering how the loss of a car may change your life.
What can you do, then, after a total loss car accident? How can you get your life back on track? When in doubt, you can discuss your options with Indiana’s car accident lawyers. Vaughan & Vaughan has decades of experience representing survivors in your position. When you’re ready, we can advocate for your right to the compensation you need to address your post-crash bills.
Understanding a Total Loss Car Accident
The term “total loss” describes an accident wherein survivors like you lose total use of their vehicle. This term has been shortened in the popular consciousness to “totaled” to describe a car that cannot return to the road due to the extent of the damage done to it.
If you walk away from a total loss car accident, you likely have to invest in an entirely new-to-you vehicle to get back on the road again. That kind of disruption to your day-to-day life, disregarding any accident-related injuries, can make it more difficult for you to get to work, secure a job, be there for your family, or even get groceries.
When we say “total loss,” we describe more than the loss of your car. A “total loss” accident means that your life has been permanently altered and that it will require a significant financial investment to get your life back on track again. Again, all of this goes without taking any injuries from a total loss accident into account.
What Causes Total Loss Car Accidents
Total loss accidents most often result from another driver’s gross roadway negligence. Drivers who speed well above the speed limit, deliberately violate roadway laws, or purposefully antagonize you on the road can assume responsibility for a total loss accident.
That said, no two total loss accidents occur under the same circumstances. If you want to take civil action after a total loss accident, you need to bring forward evidence asserting that your losses stemmed from someone else’s misconduct.
Can You Hold Someone Criminally Accountable for a Total Loss Accident?
The gross negligence that causes today’s total loss accidents often violates Indiana’s roadway laws. As such, the party that caused your total loss accident may be guilty of criminal misconduct. You, however, cannot take up a criminal case against the offending party. Only the state can do that.
That said, you may be called on to testify in the criminal case the state assumes against a liable party. If you are, you can outline the nature of your accident-related losses for the sake of a judge and jury.
You should also keep an ear out for news regarding any criminal case brought against the party responsible for your accident. If an Indiana criminal court convicts your liable party of illegal roadway conduct, you can submit that conviction as evidence of liability in your civil case.
While that conviction doesn’t guarantee you compensation, it’s compelling evidence in your favor.
Working With an Insurance Provider After a Total Loss Car Accident
It’s in your best interest to file a claim with your insurance provider after a total loss accident, provided that you have Indiana’s minimum liability insurance or greater coverage. Unfortunately, not every insurance provider will value your total loss accident fairly. Many providers may attempt to deny your claim or dramatically undervalue it.
Why should you file a claim with your insurance provider if there are so many possible roadblocks? Because if you do, and your claim gets undervalued or denied, you can take up legal action against your provider. Indiana’s car accident attorneys can either appeal a denied total loss claim on your behalf or initiate a personal injury case against the company.
These services come to you, a survivor, without the threat of legal fees. The car accident lawyers with Vaughan & Vaughan specifically work on contingency. That means we don’t get paid unless we win your case for you. Even then, your bank account gets protected by our pre-signed contingency fee agreements.
You can learn more about the ways working with Vaughan & Vaughan can protect your finances during an initial total loss case consultation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Total Loss Accident
If you want to initiate civil proceedings against the party you believe to be liable for your total loss accident, you need to do so within Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4, or Indiana’s personal injury statute of limitations. You have no more than two years, under this statute, to bring forward the following information:
- The identity of the party liable for your losses
- The evidence you have establishing liability for your total loss accident
- The economic impact of your total loss impact
- What evidence you have establishing the value of your total loss accident
Our attorneys can gather this information on your behalf while you’re recovering from total loss accident-related injuries. We can then compile it, ensure that your documents meet state standards, and submit the complaint to a civil judge before your statute of limitations expires.
You Can Arrange Representation With Indiana’s Car Accident Attorneys
A total loss car accident can prove devastating for you and your family. Not only have you lost an immediate mode of transportation, but now you have to contend with injuries related to your crash. The bills related to your post-accident care and recovery can rapidly add up and leave you in a financial lurch.
If you find yourself in need of support after a total loss car accident, call on Vaughan & Vaughan. We have personal injury lawyers working throughout Indiana who can help you fight to recover from your accident. Contact us by phone or through our website to learn more about how a personal injury claim may help you financially recover from a total loss car accident.