Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injury, and those responsible for causing the crash can be held responsible for paying for losses. A personal injury attorney can assist in taking legal action after an accident happens so you can recover monetary payments for your losses. In some cases, a vehicle is also severely damaged in a motor vehicle collision. When this occurs, it is important to understand when an automobile insurance company will consider the vehicle to be a total loss.
Defining a Total Loss for Car Insurance
When a vehicle is declared a total loss, it means it either cannot be fixed or that it would be too expensive for the vehicle to be repaired. Instead of paying the cost of replacing the vehicle, the insurance company will instead pay for the replacement value of the car. The insurance company will take title to the motor vehicle and will then get a salvage title for the car and sell it as a salvage vehicle. The insured will need to turn the car over to the insurance company. If the insured driver wishes to keep the vehicle, his payment amount will be reduced by the amount of money that the insurance company could have received by salvaging the car.
In some cases, having your vehicle declared a total loss can be a very bad thing. The replacement value cost paid by the automobile insurance company may not actually be enough to get a comparable replacement car. This can especially be an issue when you have a very new car, as cars depreciate in value very quickly and you can find yourself not being able to afford to replace the car you lost with a similarly new automobile. This can also be a problem if you have a low-value or old car, as you may not actually be able to find a comparable vehicle once your car is totaled.
Unfortunately, if you don't own the vehicle, it is not up to you whether your car gets declared a total loss. The insurance company makes this decision. The insurance company will obviously declare that the car is a total loss in situations where it would cost more to repair the car than the vehicle is worth. However, according to Claims Journal, insurers will also total cars if it is not practical to pay from the cost of repairs because the value of repairing the car is close to the vehicle's worth.
For example, if a $4,000 vehicle would cost $3,000 to fix, the insurer may decide to total the car because the repairs would cost 75 percent of the vehicle's value. This is especially an issue with inexpensive cars.
While you don't necessarily get a say in whether the insurer totals your car, you also don't necessarily have to accept the first offer that your insurance company makes regarding how much the insurer is willing to give you for the vehicle. You have the option to try to argue for a higher payout, especially if you have proof that the car should be worth more.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident, a Jonesboro personal injury lawyer can fight to protect your rights. Contact the McDaniel Law Firm at 1-855-524-4744. Serving Northeast Arkansas including Jonesboro, Paragould, Craighead County, Lawrence County, Greene County, Mississippi County, Poinsett County and surrounding areas.