Car Accident:

Property Damage in Auto Accidents

After you have been involved in a car accident, there may be a significant amount of property damage done to your vehicle. If you have auto insurance, the company will pay for repairs or total your car. Totaling a car means the vehicle has been deemed a complete loss and the insurance company will pay the owner cash value for the automobile. The company determines the cash value by taking the replacement cost of a similar vehicle and subtracting an amount that equals the car’s depreciation (age, wear and tear, etc.). Cars that are totaled are not always completely wrecked or utterly useless. Whether a car is totaled depends on if the repair costs exceed a specific percentage of the car’s worth. Each company has a different percentage, but they generally fall between 51 and 90%.

Some people who have their car totaled in an auto accident may disagree with the insurance company’s decision. They may feel their car is worth more than the actual value or that it can be salvaged. When you sign a contract with an insurance company, it is stated the company is not required to pay more than what the automobile is worth. However, the insurance company also promises to put you in the same spot, so to speak, as you would have been if you weren’t in an auto accident.

When your car is totaled, it is taken to a salvage yard to be auctioned off. If you want to keep your car, you have options. You can take the cash value from the auto insurance company, minus the deductibles and what the insurer would have received at the salvage yard. This allows you to keep your automobile and fix it yourself. If you choose to do this, make sure your let your claims adjuster know immediately. Once your car is taken to the salvage yard, it can be very difficult to get it back.