WHAT DO I DO IF MY CAR WAS TOTALED IN A SACRAMENTO ACCIDENT?
Posted on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 6:06 am
When you are in a car accident, you can sustain several types of damages. In all cases, there will be some level of property damage to your vehicle from the collision. The level of damage can depend on several factors including the speed at impact, the type of vehicles involved, and the type of crash (i.e. rear-end, side impact, head-on, etc.).
For crashes that result in serious injuries, the victims may not be as concerned with repairing or replacing their vehicle because they are focused on their physical injuries. However, at some point, all victims need to have their vehicles repaired or replaced. The concern is making sure the vehicle is returned to its condition before the accident. Some people prefer their vehicle is totaled because they believe once a vehicle is repaired it is never the same. However, that decision is not up to the accident victim.
Totaled vs. Repaired
If the insurance company for the other driver accepts responsibility, it will direct you to take your vehicle to a certain place for a repair estimate. The insurance company sends someone to the vehicle’s location to provide an estimate if the vehicle cannot be driven. The adjuster estimates the cost to repair the damage to your vehicle and compares this amount to the value of your vehicle to decide if the vehicle should be totaled.
There is not a magical calculation that the law prescribes for insurance companies to decide I f a car is totaled. Each insurance company has its own internal guidelines for its adjusters.
However, the accepted model is to set a percentage for deciding if the vehicle is totaled. The estimated cost of repairs is compared to the fair market value of the vehicle. If the cost of repair exceeds the value of the vehicle or a percentage set by the insurance company, the company totals the vehicle. If the damages do not exceed a certain amount, the company agrees to pay for repairs.
You can choose a body shop to repair your vehicle. You do not have to choose a shop that the insurance company requires. If your shop finds additional damage, it will contact the insurance company to obtain approval to make the repairs. It is always a good idea to tell the body shop to notify you if additional repairs are being requested so you can make sure those repairs are approved.
What Happens When The Car Is Totaled?
If the insurance company totals your vehicle, it will offer to pay you the fair market value of your vehicle. The vehicle then becomes the property of the insurance company. Unfortunately, the fair market value may not be sufficient to replace your vehicle.
It is important that you ensure you are receiving the full market value of your vehicle before you settle. If you have doubts, consult with a trusted car dealer for an opinion or contact a Sacramento car accident attorney immediately.
Call for a Free Case Evaluation
If the insurance company is treating you unfairly, call for a free consultation with a Sacramento car accident attorney. Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website. Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.