Personal Injury Lawyers
How Do Insurance companies Determine a Vehicle is a Total-loss?
A claims adjuster, who is responsible for assessing the damage and determining the extent of coverage, may claim a total loss for several reasons. Firstly, the repair costs may simply be too high compared to the value of the vehicle. If the estimated repair costs exceed a certain percentage of the vehicle's market value, typically around 70-80%, the insurance company may consider it uneconomical to repair the vehicle and declare it a total loss.
Additionally, a claims adjuster may declare a total loss if the damage is severe enough to render the vehicle unsafe or unfit for the road, even if the repair costs fall below the threshold. This is because the primary concern is ensuring the safety of the vehicle's occupants.
What If I Don't Agree With the Claims adjuster’s Decision?
When faced with a total loss determination, it is important to consult with a car accident lawyer at MVP Accident Attorneys to help you obtain compensation for all accident-related damages. A car accident lawyer will advocate for your rights and work to ensure you receive fair and full compensation.
One of the main reasons to seek legal representation is that insurance companies may undervalue the compensation you are entitled to for a total loss. Insurance companies often calculate the settlement based on the vehicle's market value, which may not accurately reflect its true worth. A skilled car accident lawyer on our legal team will carefully assess the circumstances and fight for your right to be reimbursed for the actual value of your vehicle, considering factors such as its condition, mileage, upgrades, and any other relevant factors.
How Can an Attorney Dispute the Insurance Adjuster’s Decision?
When faced with a total loss determination from your insurance company, it is essential to have a car accident lawyer by your side to dispute the decision if you believe it to be unfair or inaccurate. An experienced attorney can employ various strategies to challenge the insurance company's determination and fight for your rights to maximize your compensation.
Here's how an attorney can dispute a total loss:
One of the first steps an attorney may take is to conduct an independent appraisal of your vehicle. They may consult with industry experts, mechanics, or appraisers who can provide an unbiased assessment of the damage and the cost of repairs. This appraisal can serve as evidence to support your argument that the vehicle is repairable or that the repair costs are lower than what the insurance company claims.
Market value Assessment
Insurance companies often base their total loss determinations on the market value of the vehicle. However, these assessments may not accurately reflect the true worth of your vehicle. An attorney can gather evidence, such as recent comparable sales, to establish a higher market value for your vehicle. They can also consider other factors that may increase its value, such as low mileage, recent upgrades, or unique features.
Challenging Repair Cost Estimates
Insurance companies may inflate repair cost estimates to push a vehicle into the total loss category. An attorney can review and scrutinize these estimates to identify any unnecessary or excessive charges. They can consult with independent repair experts to provide alternative repair estimates that are more accurate and reasonable.
Salvage Value Negotiation
When a vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurance company may offer you the option to buy back the salvage. However, the salvage value assigned by the insurance company may be lower than what you could obtain by selling the vehicle on your own. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to increase the salvage value, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your vehicle's remaining value.
Diminished value Claim
Even after repairs, a vehicle that has been involved in a significant accident may have diminished value. This refers to the reduced market value due to the accident history. An attorney can help you file a diminished value claim, seeking compensation for the loss in value your vehicle has suffered. They can gather evidence and expert opinions to support your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement.
By having a car accident attorney dispute a total loss determination, you increase your chances of obtaining a more favorable outcome. They will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, whether it is for repair costs, diminished value, loss of use, or any other accident-related damages.
If you find yourself in a dispute with an insurance company over a total loss determination, contact MVP Accident Attorneys for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your case, guide you through the process, and provide the necessary legal representation to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact Us Today!
If you have been involved in an automobile accident resulting in a total loss, contact MVP Accident Attorneys for a free consultation. During a consultation, you can discuss the details of your case, receive personalized advice, and gain a clear understanding of your legal rights and options. Contact us today to learn more.
Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.
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