If you’ve been in a serious accident, you’ll likely be dealing with insurance adjusters in the coming weeks. If your car has been damaged beyond repair, your insurance adjuster may declare your vehicle a total loss. But what does this mean? And what is required for an insurance company to decide a vehicle is damaged beyond repair?
A car is declared totaled when the cost of repairs exceeds a certain percentage of the vehicle’s current value. According to U.S. News & World Report, that value can vary depending on the state in which you live. In Texas, the cost of repairs to your vehicle must be 100% or more of the car’s total value for the vehicle to be declared a total loss. In some cases, vehicles are so damaged in accidents that it is impossible to safely repair them. How the insurance company determines the current value of your vehicle can make a big difference in how much money you’ll receive for your totaled vehicle. For example, your insurance company may use the Kelley Blue Book to determine the current value for your vehicle, based on its make and model. Or, your insurance company might use special formulas or estimates using computer programs to determine the value of your car. However, it is important to make sure that your insurance adjuster has the right information regarding your vehicle so that you can receive the best possible settlement under the law.
The key is knowing whether the insurance company’s determination of the value of your vehicle is accurate. You’ll never receive enough money from a totaled vehicle to buy a new car, but the money your insurance company provides you for your totaled vehicle should be sufficient so that you can purchase a used vehicle of your same make, model, year, and mileage. If you can’t do this with the money your insurance company provides, you may want to appeal the claim.
For example, sometimes individuals can receive more money for a totaled car by showing insurance adjusters sale fliers for similar makes and models in your area. Sometimes insurance companies may not account for special features in your vehicle, like voice control, power windows, and powertrain. If your car had special features, it can help to make sure that insurance adjusters took this into account when estimating the value of the car. It can also help to show that you took good care of your vehicle. If you can furnish insurance adjusters with repair receipts, this could also prove that your car should be valued higher.
If you believe your insurance adjuster is offering you a lower value than your vehicle is worth, consider reaching out to the Law Offices of Robert Gregg, a car accident lawyer in Dallas, Texas. Our personal injury attorneys can review your claim, look at your vehicle, and help you fight for the recovery you may deserve under the law.