How Does Totaling a Car Work in California?
After a car accident anywhere in California, it’s understandable you want your vehicle repaired so you can get your life back on track. However, the process of fixing a car can be a confusing process which only delays returning to normal; even victims whose vehicles on appeared to suffer minor damage may receive shocking news that their car is determined a total loss. There is a process for totaling vehicles in California. If you aren’t happy with the offer you receive from an insurance company, a California car accident attorney can help deal with insurers on your behalf whether you live in Huntington Beach, Bakersfield, or anywhere in between.Total Loss Formula in California
After you’re involved in an accident, the first step to getting your vehicle repaired or declared a total loss is notifying your insurance company and beginning a claim. Every state has a different standard for determining when vehicles are considered a total loss. California uses a total loss formula, whereby an insurer determines the repair cost to the vehicle and its scrap value. If this amount equal or greater than your car’s actual cash value, an insurer will usually total it.Factors Affect a Car’s Actual Cash Value
According to Investopedia, an actual cash value – your car’s worth – is the amount of your vehicle’s replacement cost minus its depreciation including wear and tear and any deductible listed in the comprehensive or collision section of your auto insurance policy. Factors cited by Allstate that may affect determining the value often include:
- Resale value
- Vehicle condition
- Sale price of similar vehicles in the area
This means the amount needed to declare your vehicle a total loss may vary based on how you cared for your car or whether you live in Los Angeles, Chula Vista, Santa Monica, Torrance, or West Covina.Do any Other Factors Play Into the Decision?
According to Insurance.com, even with the total loss formula being used, the decision to declare a total loss may be determined by other factors. If a car cannot be repaired safely, an insurer may total the vehicle. The decision may also vary from one insurance company to another.Speak to an Attorney Today
When a car accident happens, it’s a traumatic experience that can leave victims injured, overwhelmed, and confused about what happens next. If you or a loved one were involved in a California car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney with the law firm of Steven M. Sweat can answer your questions, explain what to expect during the process, and help you take right steps to secure the best outcome from this unfortunate event. Let us review the facts of your unique case and work to deliver the best outcome possible. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation by calling (310) 592 0445 or completing our online contact form today.