If You Crash Your Financed Car, What Happens?
While many people in Missouri may outright own the vehicle they drive, several others can still be making payments on their cars and thus do not have the titles. If a person is involved in a car accident involving a financed vehicle, it will be important to quickly find a St. Louis lawyer for car crash.
The primary concern for most people who have financed cars and are involved in automobile accidents is that they will still owe money on those vehicles even when the car is totaled. Insurance companies frequently declare cars to be total losses when the costs of repair are more than the vehicles are worth, and this can be common because most automobiles depreciate at rapid rates as soon as you drive a car off the lot.
How Your Insurance Affects Financed Cars
Missouri state law requires all drivers and vehicle owners to maintain some type of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage, with minimum levels of coverage being $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property. You also need to maintain uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
So long as your car insurance policy was not canceled, you will be able to file a claim with the insurance company under your collision coverage. This pays for the damage to your vehicle up to your policy limits, although you will be responsible for paying your deductible, which can vary depending on the policy.
When an insurer determines that the other party in your accident was at fault, then the negligent party may be liable for paying your deductible as well. When a person does not have automobile insurance at the time of an accident in a financed car, the road to recovery can be more difficult.
If the other driver was at fault, it is still possible to have that party be liable for all costs of repairing or replacing the vehicle. You could be at risk of losing your vehicle to your lender, however, if they learn that you were driving without carrying adequate insurance.
How Gap Insurance Works
Gap insurance, which is also known as loan or lease gap coverage, is an optional car insurance coverage that pays off an automobile loan if a car is totaled or stolen and the person owes more than the car’s depreciated value. Missouri does not require drivers to purchase gap insurance, but some lenders could require people to purchase gap insurance for car loans or leases.
Gap insurance is generally required as a condition of most leases, but it is also recommended when:
- You make less than a 20 percent down payment
- You are financing for 60 months or longer
- You purchased a vehicle that will depreciate faster than average
- You rolled over negative equity from an old car loan into a new loan
Call Us Today to Speak with a St. Louis Lawyer For Car Crash
Did you recently crash a financed car in Missouri? You will want to be sure that you have a St. Louis attorney for car crash on your side for help recovering as much financial compensation as possible.
Bruntrager & Billings, P.C understands how difficult these claims can be for people, and we work closely with our clients so they have somebody telling them exactly which steps to take. You may call (314) 646-0066 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation with our St. Louis lawyer for car crash.