Automobile accidents can be extremely frustrating. Unfortunately, following an accident, the “fate” of your vehicle is, many times, in the hands of others and as such, remains unknown. Some research indicates that from 12-15% of all vehicle appraisals following an auto accident result in a total loss. What this means for most of us, is that we stand a one in seven chance of having our car deemed “totaled” following an accident.

How is a Car Judged to be a Total Loss?

With the above in mind, it is important to consider that many people are unaware of the process followed or the formula involved when an insurance company totals a vehicle. While each insurance company has its own methodology, many states enter the mix as well, making the definition of a total loss fairly complex. Generally speaking, the insurance company will determine how much it will cost to repair your vehicle and weigh that number against what the insurance company will pay out for a total loss claim. If the cost to fix your vehicle is more than the current market value of the automobile, or if the insurance company believes your totaled vehicle can be easily sold for salvage, then it will probably be declared a total loss. For instance, when comparing the exact same damage to a brand-new Mercedes Benz and a twelve-year old Toyota, it is likely the Toyota will be declared a total loss while the Mercedes will be repaired because the Mercedes is the more valuable vehicle. In general, if the estimated repairs add up to 75-80% of the current market value, then the car will likely be totaled. Your vehicle may also be declared a total loss if repairing the car safely is not possible.

Keeping Your Totaled Vehicle

Despite the assessment that your car is totaled, you may still want the vehicle back, choosing to have it repaired yourself. Depending on where you live, you may be able to do so, particularly if you do not owe money on the vehicle. However, if you are considering keeping the car, you must communicate that desire to the insurance company immediately. Keep in mind that some insurance companies refuse to insure a car which has been declared totaled. Moreover, your property damage check may be less if you keep the vehicle because the car’s salvage value will be deducted. If you do not choose to keep your totaled vehicle, it will likely be sold at a salvage yard or parted out at auction.

Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been in any type of accident involving negligence, contact the Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. For over 39 years, our firm has assisted thousands of injured clients across Georgia. Our compassionate law firm offers you a free case review to explain your legal rights and the actions necessary to obtain compensation.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 529-6333
(800) LAW-NEED