Auto Accident: What Happens to Your Car?

October 27, 2022 | By Francis Firm Injury Attorneys
Auto Accident: What Happens to Your Car?

What Happens To My Vehicle After An Auto Accident?

Your car has a monetary value attached to it. Not just in terms of dollars or the amount you bought your car for. Much of your property's value lies in its utility, convenience, reliability, and means to earn equity or wages from your asset. Vehicle damage after an accident in the Dallas–Fort Worth region isn't just about losing dollars; it is also about the potential loss of your mode of transportation in Texas.

In a busy city like Dallas, your ability to run errands, earn income, pick up your kids from school, as well as any other activities you may be engaged in may revolve around your car. It's natural to feel attached to your vehicle.

But what happens when the unthinkable happens? You get into an accident that damages your car. What happens to your car after an accident in Dallas, TX? Who covers the repair costs? What if the other driver is uninsured?

If someone else's negligence leads to property damage, you may be entitled to compensation for any damage your car sustained. Compensation may also cover any personal items, such as laptops or phones, that were damaged during the car crash in Dallas, TX. Property damage in car accident claims may also include anything damaged during the accident that was in the car, such as clothes, sporting equipment, art, eyewear, or even books.

If the damage to your car is covered by the liable driver or their insurance carrier, they may suggest a specific repair shop. Note that you are under no obligation to use their recommended repair shop. Vehicle insurance is about choice.

Confused about what happens to your car after an accident? Consider reaching out to a Dallas car accident lawyer today to find out more about property damage claims. The Francis Firm can evaluate the worth of your property damage claim and submit a demand letter seeking the best compensation from the insurance company.

What Is Property Damage?

Most auto insurance policies in Texas consider physical damage to your car to be property damage. Getting your Dallas property damage claim opened may:

  • Pay for your car repair costs
  • Pay for the loss of its use since it's damaged
  • Reimburse you its cash value since it can't be repaired

To build a strong property damage claim in Dallas or Fort Worth, you should take photos and videos of the car at the scene of the crash. Evidence of actual property damage can show whether there was broken glass or if the airbags had gone off during the crash.

After an accident, you need to determine if your car is still drivable. Is the damage extensive enough that it isn't drivable? Do you need to tow your car to a Dallas auto body shop?

What Happens To My Vehicle After An Auto Accident?

Car wrecks can be extremely inconvenient. Whether your car needs to be repaired or it is completely totaled, car crashes in Dallas can be quite disruptive to your daily routine. As an accident victim, it's normal to wonder what happens to your car after an accident. You may also have questions about the "51% bar" rule used to determine fault and liability in car accident cases.

Here are some questions that can help you determine what'll happen to your car after an accident in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

Is My Car Drivable?

If you can still drive your vehicle after a car accident, the police will likely ask you to take it to a repair shop, have someone pick it up, or drive it home. Make sure you contact the at-fault driver's insurer to request an estimate of your car's repair costs. The insurance carrier may send a claims adjuster to inspect the damage your car sustained after your crash. They may also request that you take your vehicle to their location for an assessment.

It's critical that you have a second opinion about the cost estimate provided by the insurance company. Take your vehicle to an independent body shop to get an estimate of its repair costs.

Some insurance companies that don't have local estimators in your region may ask for around three repair estimates from local body shops in Dallas. They'll proceed to issue a check for the body shop that quoted the lowest estimate.

Is My Car Not Drivable?

If you can't drive your car after an accident, you'll need to call for a tow. Law enforcement may force you to tow your vehicle even if you think it's still roadworthy. This reduces the chances of being involved in another accident.

If you have a discounted towing service in your insurance policy or an auto club membership, you'll have to make arrangements for your car to be towed. The at-fault party's insurance company is typically responsible for any towing charges after an accident.

When towing your vehicle after an accident, be wary of tow truck scams. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) warns drivers to be on the lookout for towing companies that recommend specific repair shops and end up charging thousands of dollars for storage and towing fees. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) also warns drivers to be careful about towing scams and provides options on how accident victims can protect themselves.

Is My Car Totaled?

When the repair costs of your vehicle surpass its worth before the crash, your car is considered "totaled." If your car is totaled, the insurance company will compare your car's fair market value and the estimated repair costs, then pay you whichever amount is less. In this case, the insurance company should pay for the vehicle's replacement value.

Remember, your car doesn't need to appear absolutely obliterated to be totaled. There are times when damage isn't at all clear from the outside.

How Do Insurers Determine the Worth of Your Car?

When figuring out your car's monetary value, insurance adjusters may consider:

  • Condition of the car's body and interior
  • Tires
  • Mileage
  • Any parts, equipment, or improvements you've customized on your own

To receive compensation for any modifications to your car, the insurance company may require proof that you paid for the modifications, such as invoices or receipts.

Get Maximum Property Damage Compensation for a Total Loss

Confused about what happens to your car after an accident? You are not alone. Before signing any document waiving your rights or accepting any payment from the insurance company, it's advisable to enlist the services of a reliable car accident lawyer with the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex who has extensive experience in settling property damage claims.

Once the insurance provider is informed about your Dallas auto crash, they'll assemble a team of claims adjusters to find ways to limit, delay, or deny your claim. Don't be fooled by their friendliness. Call The Francis Firm to put together your team of seasoned litigators, investigators, and other experts who'll fight to protect your legal rights and interests.

Contact us today to find out how much your vehicle damage is worth. Our lawyers will look at the facts surrounding your case and offer you sound legal advice. We can also help you find a doctor willing to treat all your accident-related injuries. Get started now before it's too late. We'll help you find out exactly what happens to your car after an accident.