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When is a car considered totaled?

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A car is deemed totaled when the cost of repairing the car is more than the actual value of the car. Depending on insurance coverage, an accident victim will get reimbursement for the current market value of the vehicle.   

According to Florida law, a car is considered a total loss when the cost of repairing is 80% or more than the actual cash value (ACV). In short, when it is a total loss, you will receive its market value. Those who want to know more about steps to take after a totaled car can take guidance from a Fort Myers car accident lawyer.

Who gets the insurance check when a car is totaled?

If you have a pending balance on your vehicle loan amount, the auto insurance company will send the amount you need to pay off to clear the loan. 

This settlement check is issued to either you or your lender. If you have no pending amount on your vehicle loan, the insurance company will pay you the settlement amount. Moreover, you will be responsible for paying the leasing company any outstanding balance even if the car is totaled.  

What happens when a car is totaled?

Car TotaledSometimes, you and your insurer may not agree on the value of the car. In such cases, you can consider taking help from an appraiser if the insurance coverage has an appraiser provision. According to this provision, you and the car insurance company are free to take help from appraisers.

In case the fault is of another person and you possess your collision coverage, you have the right to file a claim with your insurer. They will pay you for the totaled vehicle. After that, the insurer may pursue compensation from the at-fault driver along with deductibles. 

Claims may also fall under property damage liability coverage, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage can help you receive reimbursement if the car gets damaged due to a fire, fallen tree, or many other possibilities. 

Is my car totaled if the airbags deploy?

Many people believe that after a crash if the airbags go off, the vehicle will be a total loss. However, this is a myth.  

What should you do when your car is totaled?

Some primary steps you should take if are involved in an accident and your car gets totaled are:

  • File a claim: Immediately after your car is deemed a total loss, you need to file a claim. 
  • Assess the damage: You can analyze the amount of damage by the total loss formula. When the cost of repairs is more than 100% of the current market value, it is a constructive total loss. 
  • Know your car’s market value: Knowing the car’s market value will help you calculate the gap insurance or gap coverage. Gap insurance refers to the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and your vehicle’s actual value.
  • Consult with your lender: This can oftentimes prove to be great help if your lender can guide you on how to proceed and determine whether a totaled car can be replaced.  
  • Negotiate with the insurer about the claim: Negotiating may prove to be complex. But if you have an idea of the car’s market value, you can decide to negotiate with the insurance company. 
  • Shop for a new car: From the settlement value, you can purchase a new car instead of investing in repairing a car that is a total loss. 

Can you keep your car if it is totaled in Florida?

The short answer is yes. In Florida, car owners have the right to keep a totaled vehicle after a collision. However, they must be aware of the process so they can have the opportunity to pursue compensation for their losses if they choose. If the car owner keeps the totaled car, they must report the damage to the state’s department of motor vehicles. 

Car owners have different options; they can repair the vehicle on their own and transfer the vehicle to the insurance company. They can also get a salvage title so that they can continue to either operate or sell the car.  To obtain a salvage title, either the car owner or the insurance company can apply for it with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Who pays for a totaled car in Florida?

The minimum property damage liability (PDL) coverage is $10,000, which may be not enough to cover all the damages. The at-fault party is responsible for paying the costs up to their coverage limit if a car is totaled in Florida. 

Can you drive a totaled car in Florida?

The short answer is no—unless you get your car repaired, you aren’t allowed to drive your car. The insurance company decides whether your car is a total loss or not. If they discover that your car is totaled, they will provide you with the ACV and the salvage value.

Handling complex personal injury claims can be convenient when you choose the right team to help. Schedule a free case consultation with us if you’ve been in an accident. Fill out our contact form or live chat with our legal professionals to get the assistance you need!