Your Vehicle: Total Loss Or Repairable After An Accident?

Posted on: 20 July 2023

When you have been hit by a careless driver, you may be without transportation for some time. In most cases, your vehicle will either be deemed a total loss, or it may be bound for the repair shop. To find out more, read on. 

Factors Affecting the Decision

  • The Extent of Damage: If the damage is extensive, such as significant frame damage or engine damage, it may make the repairs cost prohibitive.
  • Repair Costs: The estimated cost of repairs is compared to the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle. If the repair costs exceed a certain threshold, typically a certain percentage of the ACV, it may be considered more economical to declare the vehicle a total loss.
  • Salvage Value: The salvage value is the estimated value of the vehicle in its damaged state. If the salvage value is high in relation to the ACV, it may influence the decision to deem it a total loss. 
  • Safety Considerations: If the accident caused significant damage to safety features like airbags, seat belts, or structural components, it may be difficult to restore the vehicle to its pre-accident safety standards. 
  • Age and Mileage: The age and mileage of the vehicle are factors that affect its value and potential for future repairs. Older vehicles or those with high mileage may have lower ACV, making it more likely for them to be deemed a total loss.

Disagreeing with the Ruling

If you disagree with the decision made by the insurance company or appraiser that your vehicle should be repaired or deemed a total loss, you have a few options:

  • Obtain a Second Opinion: You can seek a second opinion from an independent appraiser or a reputable auto repair shop. They can assess the damage and provide you with their professional opinion.
  • Negotiate with the Insurance Company: Contact the insurance company and express your disagreement with their decision. Provide any additional evidence, documentation, or expert opinions that support your claim that the vehicle can be repaired. Engage in open communication with your insurance company to present your case and negotiate a resolution.
  • Request an Independent Appraisal: You may have the right to request an independent appraisal. Consult with the insurance company to determine if this option is available to you. 
  • Consult with an Attorney: If the disagreement persists and you believe that the insurance company is not handling the situation fairly, consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance claims. They can provide legal advice and help you understand your rights and options for disputing the decision.

For more info, contact a local auto accident lawyer