On behalf of Licatesi Law Group, LLP posted in Car Accidents on Monday, May 13, 2013.

Totaling your vehicle can be devastating enough. But when you still owe money on a loan balance, the situation gets even worse. In many cases, the settlement offer from your insurance company may not cover the entire balance of the loan. Car accident attorneys in Brooklyn can suggest a few different remedies to help resolve the situation.

Your first option is to go after the liable party if the accident wasn’t entirely your fault. You may be able to recover compensation from the negligent party, which can help you purchase a new vehicle. Queens car accident attorneys can help you with the legal process, and assist you in filing a personal injury claim against the person or company at fault. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, you can recover some compensation – even if you were 99% at fault for the accident.

If you were responsible for the accident, you may want to negotiate with your insurance company. Never accept a first offer. Look up the Kelly Blue Book value of your car, making sure to note the year, model and any upgrades. Then present the number to your insurance company if it differs from their offer. It may be helpful to have an attorney represent you during negotiations.

In the future, purchase gap insurance if you finance 80% or more of the cost of your replacement vehicle. Gap insurance pays the difference between what the insurance company is willing to pay for your totaled car and what you actually owe the lender. The hope is that you won’t have to use it, but it’s always better to be prepared.

Contact Rubin & Licatesi if you or a loved one has been hurt in a car crash. We can help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and damages.