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Total Loss Car Accident Lawyer

What is a total loss claim?

After a vehicle is involved in an accident, the insurance company will decide whether the vehicle is deemed a “total loss.”  In the simplest terms, this happens when the damage to the insured vehicle costs more to repair than the value of the car.  However, this is where the simplicity ends, as most states calculate total loss differently. Some states have threshold values, whereas others use varying formulas to determine a car’s salvage or actual value.

How is a total loss claim calculated?

After a vehicle is involved in an accident and the insurance company’s adjuster determines that the cost to repair the vehicle will surpass its value, then you have a total loss claim.  How that will be calculated can vary greatly from state to state.  For example, some states like Florida, have “thresholds,” meaning a total loss is determined by the damage amount in proportion to the vehicle’s value prior to the crash. In Florida, the total loss threshold is 80 percent. Therefore, if the cost to repair your vehicle, plus the salvage value, exceeds 80 percent of the vehicle’s actual value, then it is considered a total loss. In other states, like California for example, there is a separate total loss formula where the insurer makes a determination whether it is uneconomical to repair the vehicle. California Code, Vehicle Code - VEH § 544California Code, Vehicle Code - VEH § 11515

What is included in a total loss payout?

First, usually, an adjuster will determine the actual cash value of a vehicle before the accident occurred. Then additional variables, such as mileage, condition, wear and tear, and how the vehicle holds up to comparable vehicles in the area, are factored into the calculation.

Some states also require that the insurer reimburse their policyholders for title fees, dealer fees, and/or registration fees.  In other states, the insurance policy requires that the insurer reimburse policyholders for local and state regulatory fees such as sales tax, title, and tag fees.

Was your total loss vehicle value lower than expected?

Insurance companies have been using inaccurate adjustments in order to low-ball their insured’s payout for total loss vehicles.  After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. If your car is a total loss, the last thing you should have to be concerned with is your insurance company lowering the value of your total loss claim. Yet, many insurance companies are evaluating claims with a  “projected sold adjustment,” that is, they are calculating your payout based on potential discounts to buyers rather than the actual market price of the vehicle.  This is just one of the tricks insurance companies use in order to lower the value of your total loss payout.

Total Loss Car Accident Lawyers

If you are involved in a car accident where your vehicle is deemed a total loss, your insurer is required to reimburse you for the full actual value of your vehicle.  Total loss payout lawsuits assert that insurance companies are violating their own contracts and state law by inadequately compensating their insureds for taxes, fees, vehicle value, and more. If you have any doubt whether you were paid the full value of your vehicle after a total loss claim, then click the link below and schedule a free consultation.  You can also call (305) 486-7468 and speak with one of our skilled total loss car accident lawyers today.  The initial consultation is 100% free and we never collect a penny in fees, unless we obtain additional compensation for your total loss claim.

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