What Happens When Your Car is a Total Loss? — Pre-Litigation Attorney, Spencer Hoisington, explains how insurance companies determine a total loss and your next steps to ensure a fair settlement. If you are the victim of a serious car accident, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at 704-333-0885 or schedule a free consultation today.
What Is a Considered a Total Loss?
Spencer Hoisington with Campbell & Associates back today to talk to you about what to do if your vehicle’s been deemed a total loss.
What is a total loss? A total loss is when it’s going to cost more than 75 percent of the fair market value of your vehicle to fix it.
The insurance company’s not going to fix it at that point. They’re just going to pay you the fair market value of that vehicle.
How’s that fair market value determined? The insurance company. They’re going to low-ball you.
They’re going to run what’s called a CCC One report, and they’re going to come back with three vehicles that are “similar” to yours. But those vehicles are going to be three of the lowest-priced vehicles that they could have found.
Next Steps After Receiving the Insurance Report
What you’re going to want to do is you’re really going to want to dig into that CCC One report and see how close—how comparable—those vehicles are to your vehicle.
You’re going to look at a couple things.
A lot of people just want to look at the condition of the vehicle on the inside—“Mine was nicer inside than this one.” That’s up for debate. That’s not something than can be quantified.
What you’re going to want to look at are things that can be quantified, mainly mileage and trim level or features.
Mileage is the big one. That’s an important one. If your vehicle has 100,000 miles on it, and the vehicle they’re comparing you to has 200,000 miles on it, it’s not really a comparable vehicle.
Likewise, if your trim level is EX, X, something like that. Another thing that can be quantified is trim level. For instance, if you have an EX and they’re comparing you to an S, that’s not a comparable vehicle. You’re going to want a vehicle that’s an EX trim level.
Those are two things that can be quantified and are good comparisons.
Research, Negotiate or Retain Your Vehicle
That adjusters going to send you her report. You’re going to want to do your own research on Autotrader or something similar. Find some comparable vehicles. See if they’re in the same range as that report the adjuster sent you.
If they’re not, send the adjuster those listings and tell her that that’s a more accurate representation of the fair market value of the vehicle, and that’s what you want. Again, total loss value is something you can negotiate.
Total loss value isn’t your only option here. If the vehicle’s old or if the damage is what could be considered minor (the vehicle is just a total loss because it’s so old and the bumper is so costly) you can ask to retain your vehicle.
It’s called salvage value. What they’ll give you is the salvage value of the vehicle. I’ll cover salvage value another week because it’s a pretty big topic in and of itself.
Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident that resulted in a total loss of a vehicle, the experienced car accident lawyers at Campbell & Associates are here to help. We are dedicated to protecting your right to full and fair compensation. Call 704-333-0885 or schedule a free consultation today.