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How to value your car when it’s a total loss

Jan 11, 2022
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
Total Loss Car Accident Class Action Lawsuit

If your car is declared a total loss after an accident, your insurance company will offer you a settlement that it deems to be reasonable compensation for the fair market value (FMV) of the vehicle at the time of the crash. There is no reason for you to accept this offer. It is very important that you do your own research and determine the value of your car for yourself. You can then decide whether the offer you have received is reasonable. You are within your rights to negotiate for a fair settlement, or call upon a total loss car accident attorney to help you.

When is a car determined to be a total loss?

The insurance company considers the projected total cost of repairing the vehicle, and compares them with the car’s value. If the costs are too high in relation to the Kelly Blue Book value of the car, it will decide that repair is not worthwhile, and will thus declare the car a total loss. 

How is the total loss settlement offer determined?

Your insurance company is supposed to offer you the FMV for your car. However, this is not always an exact science. In addition, adjusters may offer you less than the vehicle is worth in the hope that you don’t know any better and will accept the first offer you receive. You should thus have a good idea of your car’s FMV before you consider an offer from your insurance company. The Kelly Blue Book is one of the best available resources for this purpose. It provides basic information about cars’ values and offers specific resources to assist car owners in determining value after an accident. 

Always remember that tax, title and license fees should all be included in the settlement offer. Insurance companies have been known to leave these out of their calculations. In fact, most cases filed against insurance companies after a total loss are not so much a result of a low estimation of a vehicle’s value. The failure to include these additional costs in the settlement is the primary cause of many total loss class actions. 

If you are uncertain about the value of your car, and think your insurer may be lowballing you with their settlement offer, seek the help of an insurance attorney. Car accident and insurance lawyers at Shamis & Gentile are well versed in the many vagaries of FMVs, total loss, and car insurance settlement offers. Let us help you get the settlement you deserve.

About Shamis & Gentile

Shamis & Gentile provides outstanding legal services in Florida and New York. We distinguish ourselves because of our experience and resources, which we combine to handle any kind of case involving personal injury, personal injury protection, class actions/mass tort, contract disputes, among others. When you bring your case to Shamis & Gentile, you will always work with a seasoned attorney who has an excellent track record. We are progressive and trusted within the legal community, and we are often called upon to settle cases that other law firms may not be able to handle on their own. With us, you can rest assured that your total loss insurance case is in safe hands. Contact us and book a consultation with a total loss car accident attorney.

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