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How is a car’s value determined in a total loss?

Aug 10, 2020
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
What Happens When Your Car is Totaled in California?

Based on data released by AutoTrader, an estimated 14% of all vehicles involved in accidents are declared a ‘total loss’. When an insurance company reports that a vehicle is a ‘total loss’, essentially what is being said is that it will cost more to repair it than the vehicle is actually worth. The question is, how do insurance companies calculate car value in total loss situations? Find out below. 

Calculating car value in total loss car accidents

The truth is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to calculating car value in total loss situations, and the approach may vary significantly from company to company and from state to state. In most instances, the decision is based on the vehicle’s actual value at the time of the accident. The insurance company will take factors like the make, model, year, mileage, and the damage sustained in the accident into consideration. If you have had any sizeable repairs done on your vehicle in recent times, such as an engine replacement or having your tires changed, these upgrades will also be considered. 

Do you qualify to join a total loss car accident lawsuit?

You might deem it unfair for your car to be ‘totaled’ by your insurance company. Unfortunately, there is little that you can do to change that decision. What you can do, however, is assess whether the company followed protocol in terms of paying sales tax and other fees. You will qualify to join a total car loss lawsuit if your car was declared a total loss in the last five years and, while your insurance company paid for the total loss, it did not pay the other driver’s insurance company.

For more information about calculating the car value in ‘total loss’ accidents, or to speak to a total car loss lawyer about joining a total car loss accident lawsuit, contact Shamis & Gentile, P.A. today. 

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