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Totaled Car Disputes

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What Are Some Common Totaled Car Disputes?

Totaled car disputes can sometimes result after an auto accident claim. If the damage to a car is severe enough, the car will likely be "totaled," meaning it will be turned over to a scrap yard for junking. The car owner will usually be reimbursed for the loss, either by their insurance company, the other driver(s), or a combination of different parties.

Some common totaled car disputes may include:

  • The car owner receiving insufficient reimbursements on the car.
  • A refusal by the other driver or the insurance company to pay costs of the car.
  • The car owner’s refusal to turn over the car for totaling (for instance, if they wish to hold onto the car for parts or other reasons).
  • Intentional miscalculations or valuations of the car’s price.

In most cases, if the car owner refuses to have the car totaled according to the insurance company’s request, they can do so. However, they will likely have to pay for their own repairs if they wish to have their car fixed.

How Does Insurance Deal with a Totaled Car?

Insurance companies usually have set policies and formulas for when a car should be totaled. In most cases, if the car repairs will cost more than 51% of the car’s value (pre-accident), then they will suggest that the car be totaled. This is because it will actually be cheaper for the insurance company to reimburse the car owner for the pre-accident value, than it would to pay for car repairs.

Also, there is often the issue of substandard car repairs whenever a car needs to be repaired. This is especially true for cars that are nearly completely wrecked. In such cases, the insurance company will then reimburse the owner, as the company also obtains some profit by turning over the car to a salvage company.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Totaled Car Disputes?

In some cases, disputes over a totaled car need to be handled in court. This is especially true if there are other legal issues involved, such as fraud, misrepresentation, or a breach of contract. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need legal advice or information regarding auto accidents and insurance claims. Your attorney can provide you with legal guidance and representation throughout the process.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 09-20-2013 10:55 AM PDT

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