Total Loss Claims After a Car Accident in Fort Lauderdale

A car accident is already a difficult situation, but it only worsens when your car is inoperable. If your motor vehicle ends up being a total loss car, you may have several complications when trying to get the compensation you need to get a replacement. However, you have options.

A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help guide you through a total loss claim and make sure you get the money you need to get back on the road safely.

What is a Total Loss?

According to Florida law, a total loss vehicle is one that would cost 80% or more of its fair market value to repair. In such a case, the car insurance company should pay you for the car’s fair market value.

How Does Collision or Comprehensive Insurance Cover a Total Loss?

Comprehensive coverage pays for repairing or replacing your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a car accident, like running into a deer or a tree falling on your car due to a storm.

Collision coverage pays for repairing or replacing your car if it is damaged or destroyed in an accident with another vehicle, no matter who is at fault.

Both comprehensive and collision coverage will pay for your vehicle when it is considered a total loss. However, according to Florida law, they are only required to pay you fair market value for the car unless you have a clause in your insurance policy that stipulates replacement.

Gap Insurance and Total Loss Vehicles

One issue that many people face when their vehicles are deemed a total loss is that the fair market value of their car is less than the amount they owe on their car loan. That means you might still pay for a car that cannot be driven.

However, if you have gap insurance, it will cover the difference between the fair market value and the remainder of your car loan.

New Car Replacement Insurance

Getting enough money to pay off the remainder of your car loan still leaves you without a car. If you have new car replacement insurance, it will help you get a new vehicle that will take the place of the one that was totaled.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Total Loss

If an uninsured motorist hits you, they will not have the liability insurance necessary to cover your property damages. While you can sue them in a personal injury lawsuit, many people without car insurance do not have the funds to pay you, even if you do win. However, if you have uninsured motorist insurance, it will take care of your damages and help you get on the road again.

Your Car’s a Total Loss. Now What?

Soon after an accident, usually within 24 hours, you will need to notify your insurance company of the crash. An adjuster will review your property damage, and if they deem it a total loss, they may make you a settlement offer. This initial settlement offer is likely a “lowball” amount that will not cover everything you need. The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible – even if you work with your own insurance company.

Send the Insurance Company a Demand Letter

After you find out the fair market value of your vehicle, you can determine how much money you will need to pay it off and replace it. You can determine the fair market value with sources like the Kelley Blue Book and other similar resources. Then, your car accident lawyer can send a letter to the insurance company demanding the total amount you need to cover your damages.

Negotiate a Fair Settlement

The insurance adjuster will likely present you with their estimate of the totaled car’s fair market value. You don’t have to accept that right away. Your attorney can negotiate an amount that will cover everything you need to return you to everyday life with a vehicle.

Get Compensation to Make You Whole

Compensation after a car accident should “make you whole.” That means you should be put in the same place that you were, as if the car accident did not happen. Simply paying you the fair market value without considering the full amount of your loan or a replacement vehicle does not make you whole. You deserve enough money to put you back on the road in a similar vehicle without worrying about payments for the previous car.

Things to Remember When Negotiating with the Insurance Companies

After a crash, the most important thing to remember is that you have rights. You don’t have to accept the first settlement amount offered by the insurance companies. In fact, if there is more than one insurance company or party to be held liable, you can likely get maximum compensation from all of them. Some things to keep in mind when negotiating with insurance companies include:

  • You should determine the maximum policy limits before accepting any offers.
  • Use multiple resources to determine the fair market value of your vehicle.
  • You can likely keep your totaled car after the crash, even if you accept a settlement.
  • Look to your own insurance company and that of the at-fault driver to cover property damage.
  • You can sue the at-fault driver personally and obtain a judgment to cover additional losses.

An Attorney Can Help You Successfully Negotiate a Total Loss Claim

Total loss claims are somewhat different from typical car accident cases where a simple repair is needed. You will have to dispute the value of your car and fight to get a new vehicle in order to return to everyday life. You shouldn’t shoulder the burden if you didn’t cause the crash. However, you still have options if you were partially responsible.

Contact attorney David I. Fuchs for more information about handling a total loss car accident claim.

Client Testimonials

“…the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated”

Fuchs was my car accident attorney and was very responsive from the first call. I had medical care the next day and the whole process was smooth. They handled everything with the insurance companies and coordinated all of the necessary medical information. It was a long process and in the end the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated I am more than happy and grateful for the outcome.

Sean O.
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“Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely.”

It’s been a long bumpy road to recovery but with David and his office’s help, we finally got it done! Through a great network of professionals, David Fuchs makes a good experience out of what could’ve been quite a headache. Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely. Thank you!

Giovanni G.
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“…they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved.”

I got in an accident in December 2021 when everyone was short staffed and insurance companies was not responsive. My boyfriend reached out to David F. and what a life changing experience. We had the pleasure of having all our worries handed to professional help. They worked diligently on our case, answered questions when asked and kept us updated on changes. More importantly they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved. I have dealt with others in the past but David got me the most according to the facts presented and never backed down when the insurance companies tried to make us settle for less. Thank you David, Jessica and the team for all your effort and hard work. I will recommend them to family and friends. [They’re] the best in town!

Sheila N.
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“Best lawyer in Broward County”
Evans P.
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“Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful.”

I highly recommend Law offices of David Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful. The case was handled in a timely manner and I was always informed if there were any changes or updates with my case.

Velouse G.
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“Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know.”

Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know. He is really good at what he does and puts 110% in you case. I have been using him for 19 years now and refer all my friends to him. I can leave him alone with my case and not call him all the time. I know he is working hard in my case. When he has any information he calls me and we go from there. There are not a lot of attorneys I can do that with! If you have any Personal Injuries please do call him. You won’t be disappointed!!

Libby E.
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“I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.”

At first I was afraid…I was petrified! I truly was! But the extensive knowledge, patience and professionalism I received brought me not only such peace and assurance that I was in good hands, but we got through my case like shining stars! David made sure I understood exactly what, when, where, why and [answered] whatever question I had. I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.

Donna M.
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“They have a wonderful team.”

…took care of my well-being [and were] very informative about my situation. [T]hey were on the ball when it came down to settling…I highly recommend David.

Nicholas G.
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“My experience with David Fuchs was awesome.”

I got a really good return… thank you David Fuchs and staff for being so helpful and working so hard to help us, you are appreciated.

Yvette W.
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“This is a great law office.”

The David I Fuchs law office is a group of excellent people that helped to their fullest potential. They treated me with respect and I really appreciate that. This is a great law office.

Jonathan Z.
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“Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident.”

It has been an unexpected journey since stepping foot in Florida. Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident. I just want to thank the staff and all the support. The Therapy the doctors; you guys were awesome and made me feel better in my situation. This the first time I ever experience such a thing but I’m blessed , thankful and behind it all DAVID FUCHS who made it happen for me.

Sade P.
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“They helped tremendously!”

I would totally recommend David to everyone. They’re extremely professional and work in a timely manner. They helped tremendously!

A Boone
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“I highly recommend this man.”

A good man knows, his law 35 years experience. Will get the job done and help you and your family get compensated for you pain and damages. I highly recommend this man. I want to revisit my review and say that Mr. Fuchs always picks up his phone and answer any questions that may pertain to my case. Thank you, David.

N. Hit
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“He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner.”

David Fuchs was my car accident attorney. He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner. I would highly recommend him to others.

Samantha D.
Google Review
“…all went good and successful. thank you so much for all your help.”

I got into an accident for the first time and I didn’t know what do or how things works, but I was lucky to find a professional and helpful people to guide through this experience.
They did take care of my case all went good and successful thank you so much for all your help.

Karen G.
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“Very professional. Had no problems with communication”
Zuberi L.
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“He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.”

I was in a car accident and looking for a professional, caring attorney.I was fortunate to find Mr. Fuchs, who helped me through the whole process. He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.

Joan K.
Google Review
“My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled.”

Had a car accident and needed an advocate to communicate my concerns through my insurance provider. The law office of David Fuchs, was efficient and thorough. My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled. Would highly recommend giving this office a call if you need legal assistance.

Willie M.
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“A+++++ recommended.”

I want to thank the office of David Fuch’s. A+++++ recommended.

J. Hernandez
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“I could not have asked for a better team by my side.”

They were very helpful. I could not have asked for a better team by my side.

S. Rodriguez
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“They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me.”

I was in an accident mid last year and Mr. Fuchs handled my case and his case manager[s] Yessi and Jessica were very informative as to the process. They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me. Mr. Fuchs was extremely knowledgeable and informed me of everything that would happen in my case. I will recommend this firm to my family and friends and i will be using their services in future if need be.

Pastor D.
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