PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. If you have been in a serious accident and insurance companies have declared your car “totaled,” you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Vehicles are declared a total loss by insurance companies when the value of repairing the car exceeds a preset percentage of the total cost to replace the vehicle. In Pennsylvania, insurance adjusters will use a total loss formula to determine this threshold. Essentially, your insurance adjuster will look at the cost of repairing your vehicle, plus the vehicle’s scrap metal value. If the cost of repairing your vehicle plus its scrap metal value is less than the value of replacing your vehicle, then your vehicle may be repaired. However, if your vehicle is so damaged that repairs plus the car’s scrap metal value would exceed the cost of replacing the vehicle, your insurance company will declare your car totaled and pay you the replacement value of your vehicle. In some cases, cars are so damaged that they can’t be safely repaired. In this case, your insurance company may also declare the car a total loss.
Many people don’t realize that they can challenge insurance companies that declare the car totaled and that they can push back if insurance adjusters offer a settlement that seems too low. According to CarInsurance.com, when determining the value of your vehicle, your insurance company should take into consideration the year, make, model, mileage, and pre-accident condition of your vehicle. One way to see if your insurance adjuster is offering you a fair value for your totaled car is to check local classifieds and listings for similar year, makes, and models of your totaled car. If the cost to replace your car is more than the amount your insurance company is offering, then you may want to push back and ask insurers how they determined the replacement value of your vehicle. U.S. News & World Report offers some suggestions for how you can prove to your insurance adjuster that you should receive top value for your car. One way is by showing maintenance records of your vehicle to prove that you kept your car in good condition. Another way is by double checking that your insurance company is using accurate information about all the features in your car. Sometimes car insurance adjusters might use a bare bones model with no added features, which could result in a lower estimated settlement than you may deserve.
If your car has been declared totaled by your insurance company, it is important to take steps to protect your rights. While the amount of money you’ll receive will never be enough to purchase a new car, you may be able to get a better recovery if you take proper steps and understand your rights. If you are having difficulty getting the recovery you believe you deserve from insurance adjusters, consider speaking to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at Goodrich & Associates, P.C.
Our lawyers can review your situation to help you receive the best possible settlement permitted under the law. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a serious accident, you are not alone. Visit us at http://www.goodrichpc.com/ to learn more about how a personal injury lawyer can help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law.
Goodrich & Associates, P.C.
Law & Finance Building
429 Fourth Avenue Suite 900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219