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How A Car Is Determined To Be “Totaled”

Navigating the rules that determine when a car is “totaled” can be confusing, but it does not need to be terribly difficult. A car is totaled when the cost to repair the car is higher than the actual cash value (ACV) of the car. Should this happen, the vehicle is declared a total loss, because attempting a repair would not be cost-effective.

What Insurance Companies Look for When Determining Loss
When an insurance company reviews your claim to determine total loss, there are multiple factors considered. Depending on your state, the law may pose a limit on the damage ratio, which is determined by reviewing the following:

  • Make and model. The make and model of your vehicle weighs heavily on the total amount of damage sustained and repair costs. Because different vehicles depreciate at varying rates, the make and model is significant in determining loss.
  • Year made. Antique vehicles and classic cars may be worth more and or harder to fix than a modern vehicle. Thus, your vehicle’s year is considered when evaluating accident damage.
  • Condition at time of incident. How well you take care of your vehicle correlates to its overall value. If your vehicle is in poor condition at the time of an incident, the overall value of the vehicle is decreased accordingly, potentially lowering your disbursement amount.
  • Your involvement in the accident. Were you the at-fault party in an auto accident? If so, your involvement can affect the total loss determination. Insurance companies use a pre-set scale to determine the percentage deducted from the total loss amount.

Get Help with Insurance Issues
Though accidents aren’t always preventable, you have options afterward. Between speaking with insurance agents and reviewing the details of your policy, obligations following an accident can become overwhelming. Don’t wait until it’s too late – seek legal help if your vehicle might be declared a total loss. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, reach out to an auto accident attorney today. Contact Sinclair Law for a free consultation.