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:
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.
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.
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.
Last Modified: 09-20-2013 10:55 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.