What determines if a car is a total loss?
If your vehicle is deemed a total loss, you will be reimbursed for only the fair market value of the vehicle. Keep in mind that while it depends on each car insurance company’s formula, if the cost to repair the vehicle to its pre-accident condition is greater than the vehicle’s fair market value, most insurance companies will deem your car a total loss.
For a free legal consultation with a total loss lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-214-2001
What if I don’t agree that my car is a total loss?
If your vehicle holds sentimental value to you and you do not want it to be junked, you should know that you could have the option to reject their decision to total it.
How does a total loss work? When the insurance company totals your car, they pay the car’s fair market value. The car is then sent to a salvage yard and it is auctioned off, usually for parts. This way, the insurance company recuperates some of their money.
What is salvage title?
If your car is damaged, but still roadworthy or safe to operate, and the insurance company determines that it’s a total loss, you can sometimes obtain salvage title of the vehicle. Salvage title allows you to keep the vehicle and receive a reduced total-loss payment from the insurance company. You can then repair the vehicle on your own, but your title is marked “salvage” which will affect the future value of the vehicle when it’s sold.
If you decide to fight the insurance company’s decision to total your car and choose to repair it yourself, keep in mind that the insurance won’t pay more money than the car is worth. That means that it’s up to you to decide if what they are offering to pay is enough to cover the cost to repair the car. You will receive a check for the car’s actual cash value; minus any necessary deductible; minus what the company would have gotten for it at an auction.
If you owe more than the car is worth, or if you are “upside down” on your loan, and your car is totaled, you should read about Gap Insurance.
Note: If an insurance company provides you with a rental car while your property damage is being appraised, your rental period ends approximately 24-hours after the insurance company makes you a total loss offer. Generally, the insurance company will not extend your rental period to give you extra time while you search for another vehicle.
Contact an Atlanta accident lawyer for help obtaining relief when your vehicle is a total loss
If you’ve been in a car crash in Georgia and your vehicle is a total loss, Kaine Law can help you obtain the relief you are entitled to from auto insurers and negligent parties. To schedule a meeting with a diligent attorney, call us at 404-214-2001 or contact us online. Our firm has four offices to serve you, located in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville, and Stockbridge. Hablamos español.