An Atlanta crash can involve a wide range of losses. While physical injuries are the obvious type of damage associated with an accident, you may also suffer damage to your vehicle. This damage can range from minor to extensive, and you will need the help of an Atlanta auto accident lawyer to recover compensation for these losses.
When you seek damages to cover the harm to your vehicle, an insurance company may pay you for the repairs after the Atlanta crash. Alternatively, the company may deem your vehicle as totaled. It is important to understand what a totaled vehicle is and when can an insurance company declare a vehicle as totaled.
What Is a Totaled Car?
When you have to spend more money on repairing a car than the car’s market value, you have a totaled car. In insurance terms, this is also known as ‘total loss.’ For instance, if your car is worth $9,000 and the expected repair costs are around $10,000, your vehicle will be declared as totaled.
An insurance company may also use a threshold limit to designate a vehicle as a total loss. This limit is typically set at 65% to 70% of the car’s actual value. When the repair costs exceed that threshold, the insurer declares your vehicle as totaled instead of recouping the repair costs. For instance, suppose the company has set a limit of 70%. This means that if the cost of repairs is 70% of the actual value of the car or more, the company will deem the vehicle as totaled.
Signs Your Vehicle May Be Totaled
There are many telltale signs that may indicate that your vehicle is totaled in an Atlanta crash. In general, if your vehicle has damaged components that cost a large amount to replace, your vehicle will very likely be deemed totaled. Signs of a totaled vehicle include:
When there is extensive damage to the engine, repair costs may be very steep. Signs of such damage include fluid leakage and the inability of a vehicle to start. Such severe damage may prompt the insurer to declare your vehicle a total loss.
If your car has traveled a lot and has a large number of miles under its belt, it is likely to be totaled after the crash. This is because high mileage indicates low vehicle value, which means even less expensive repairs may not be worth it.
Damaged or Old Vehicle
Vehicles that are very old or damaged even before an accident are not worth the cost of repairs after a crash. If you have a car like this and it suffered damage in an accident, the insurance company will very likely declare it totaled.
What Happens if Your Vehicle Is Totaled?
Before you actually consult the insurer about whether your vehicle will be repaired to totaled, you should get a sound estimate of your car’s pre-accident value. This can be done by using one of the commonly used calculators, such as the Kelly Blue Book (KBB). Once you have a ballpark estimate, you can then negotiate with your insurance company.
If your insurer declares that your car is totaled, you can cite the pre-accident market value of your vehicle. The insurer will then typically offer you the following options:
Actual Value of Your Vehicle
You will be offered the pre-accident actual value of your vehicle. With this cash in hand, you can then go on to purchase a car that is of a similar make, model, year, and condition as your totaled vehicle before the Atlanta crash.
A Replacement Vehicle
Alternatively, the insurance company may offer you a vehicle that is similar to your totaled vehicle. The insurer is required to provide a vehicle that matches the make, model, year, and condition of your totaled car.
After you agree to have your vehicle declared as totaled, the insurance company may sell the car to a salvage dump. You can also negotiate with the company to keep the totaled car if you think you can make something out of it.
Why Consult an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer?
When you have suffered losses in an Atlanta crash, it is important to hire professional legal help. A good lawyer will negotiate with the insurer on your behalf and ensure that you get the best deal. This is precisely what we strive for here at Ted Greve & Associates. Our lawyers work with you to recover compensation for your injuries, vehicle damage, and other types of losses you may incur as a result of the accident. Call us now to discuss your Atlanta wreck with our lawyer.