When Is a Car Considered a Total Loss?

After a car accident, your vehicle damage will be evaluated by a collision repair technician. The estimate for its repairs will be sent along to your insurance company, who may pay some or all of the cost. However, in some cases, the insurance company will determine that a car is a total loss. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect when your car is considered to be totaled.

Defining a Total Loss

It’s often thought that a totaled car is one that is unable to be fixed or driven, such as a car that was completely crushed in an accident. These cars are definitely considered totaled, but the damage doesn’t have to be that extreme to declare a total loss. For insurance purposes, a total loss is defined as a car that would cost more to fix than it’s worth. The insurance adjuster will add the cost of the repairs to the salvage value of the car. If that amount is more than the actual cash value, the insurance adjuster declares the car totaled.

Figuring Out What Happens Next

Once an insurer declares your car totaled, the company has the legal right to take your car and sell it as salvage to recoup some of its losses. However, you will also be given a check for the fair market value of your car on the day of the accident. You can use that check to buy a new car if you wish. If you have reason to believe that your car was worth more than the insurance company’s estimate, you might decide to negotiate with the insurer or file a lawsuit. It can be difficult to successfully take either course of action, and so you may want to speak with an attorney.

Regardless of whether your car is fixable or is a total loss, you’ll need to get it off the road after the accident. You can rely on the experienced tow truck drivers at Barnett’s Towing, LLC to respond promptly and provide professional service. For towing anywhere in Arizona, you can call (800) 722-2302 around the clock.