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Determining a Car a Total Loss


When you are involved in a traffic collision, not only do you have to deal with the physical injuries but you may also be faced with the daunting task of figuring out if your car is fixable. Part of this is determining whether your car is a total loss or not.

It is important to understand that you are not the one who decides if your vehicle is beyond repair or not, insurance companies deem a car a total loss when the cost of repairs exceeds the actual cash value of the car. Any personal connection you have to the vehicle is not taken into account. To have your desires and rights protected throughout insurance negotiations, connected with a Delray Beach personal injury attorney.

Reviewing a Vehicle’s Make, Model, and Mileage

When deciding on the worth of a vehicle, make, model, year, and mileage of the car will be assessed. Experts will also take into account any modifications or upgrades that have been made to the car and the condition of the vehicle, specifically comparing the condition of the car prior to the accident and the condition of the car after the accident.

Then, once anĀ  actual cash value of a car has been established, an insurance adjuster will compare that financial figure to an estimated cost of repairs. If the cost of repairs is in excess of the actual cash value of the car, then the car is considered a total loss.

At this point, if your car is a total loss and you still owe money on the vehicle, the insurance company will pay the actual cash value of the car to the lender first. If there is a remaining balance on the car loan, it will be your responsibility to settle that balance. Some Floridians have gap insurance. If this is true for you, it will cover the difference between the actual cash value of the car and the remaining balance on the loan.

Some Accident Situations Increase Likelihood of a Car Being Totaled

There are certain situations when a car has a heightened likelihood of being a total loss, such as if the airbags deploy. Replacing airbags can be very expensive, and the repair can exceed the value of the car as a result. Additionally, when there is significant damage to the frame of the car, it is likely to be totaled. This is true for two reasons, because repairing a frame is costly and because an improper frame repair can compromise the safety of the car.

Your Delray Beach personal injury attorney will work through the case with the insurance adjuster to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages, whether that includes physical injury expenses, car repairs, or both.

Was the possibility of your car being a total loss brought up by an insurance adjuster or auto repair expert? Learn about your rights and how to protect your best interests through a conversation with the legal team at Earnhart Law in Delray Beach. To get started, book your fee-free consultation. Call 561-265-2220 or contact us online.

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