ACWORTH, Georgia. If you’ve been in a serious accident, there’s a chance that your insurance adjuster might declare your car a total loss. If your car has been totaled, it is important to understand your rights.
What does it mean when your insurance company declares your vehicle a total loss? Insurance companies are only responsible for the replacement value of your vehicle. They don’t want to pay more than that amount. So, if the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds a certain percentage (it varies from state to state), your car might be declared a total loss. Georgia uses a total loss formula. Insurance adjusters will estimate the replacement value of your vehicle and the value of your crashed vehicle for scrap metal. If the value of the vehicle for scrap plus the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds the cost to replace your vehicle, your car will be declared totaled.
What are some steps you can take if your vehicle has been totaled? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You have the right to negotiate your settlement. If your car is totaled, insurance adjusters might offer you an amount like the Kelley Blue Book value of your car. While the Blue Book is a good place to start, your insurance company’s responsibility is to “make you whole” after a crash. This means that if the value of a similar make, model, and year vehicle in your area is priced higher than the Blue Book value, you may have the right to ask for a higher claim amount. Additionally, it is important that you check to make sure that your insurance adjusters are using the right information to base their estimate. Has your insurance adjuster considered any extra features your vehicle has, like power steering, Bluetooth, or rear-cameras? These can increase the value of your settlement.
- Consider putting an offer on a car. The amount you receive for a totaled car will not be enough to pay for a new car, but it should be enough to pay for a replacement car with the same mileage, year, make, and model. U.S. News & World Report suggests that you check local classified advertisements and dealerships to see what a similar car would cost you on the market.
- Be prepared to provide maintenance records. A car in good condition will be worth more than a car that has not been properly maintained. If you kept your car up to date with maintenance, providing records to your insurance adjuster might also get you a higher settlement.
These are just some things to keep in mind if your car has been declared a total loss. If you’ve been in a serious accident, you may have many questions, such as concerns about medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost wages if you have had to miss work to recover. If you have questions about your insurance claim or about other claims you may have the right to make, reach out to Amanda Hall Injury Law, a car accident lawyer in Acworth, Georgia today. Our firm can review the details of your crash, look at the settlements being offered for your totaled vehicle, and fight to help you get the best possible claim under the law.
Amanda Hall Injury Law
145 Towne Lake Pkwy, Ste 200
Woodstock Ga 30188