Justia Lawyer Rating
Expertise.com
State Bar of California
SDCBA
CLA
Consumer Attorneys
Google Reviews

Was Your Car Totaled in an Accident?

Car With Damage in Front

SAN DIEGO, California. If you have been in a serious accident, you will likely be dealing with insurance adjusters regarding damages to your vehicle and regarding seeking damages for your personal injury. If your car was seriously damaged in an accident, there is a chance that insurance adjusters will declare your vehicle a total loss. What does it mean when your insurance company declares your vehicle “totaled” and what are your rights?

Generally, a vehicle is declared “totaled” when the cost of repairs are high enough that it makes more sense to just purchase a similar make, model, and year vehicle on the market. California uses a “total loss formula” which considers the cost of repairs, plus the scrap value of your vehicle minus the pre-accident value of your vehicle. If the value of repairs plus the scrap value of your car exceeds the value of just buying a pre-accident vehicle on the market, your insurance company may just give you the money to buy a pre-accident vehicle. It is important to understand that the money you will be given in a total loss won’t be the value of your new vehicle, but rather something closer to the Blue Book value of your car before your accident.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the pre-accident value that an insurance adjuster places on your vehicle may not actually be how much you would have to pay to buy a similar car in your local market. Insurance adjusters may use the Blue Book value of your car, or they may figure this estimate based on a model of your vehicle that doesn’t include bells and whistles like automatic windows. When looking at the settlement your insurance company is offering, it may be wise to look at local ads for cars in your area. Find ads of similar cars. If the settlement being offered is less than what it would cost you to purchase your vehicle in the local market, you may be able to ask for a larger settlement.

According to Kelley Blue Book, your insurance company may also declare your vehicle a total loss if your vehicle cannot be safely repaired. Some accidents cause so much damage to a vehicle that it simply isn’t road worthy anymore. At the end of the day, if you are facing a total loss, it is important to understand your rights and options. You won’t likely be able to take the money for your total loss and be able to buy a new car, but by understanding how insurers determine the value of your claim, you may be able to fight for a better settlement.

If you have questions about your rights and options, consider reaching out to The Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth, car accident lawyers in San Diego, California. Our attorneys can review your accident, review the settlement being offered by insurers, and fight to get you the settlement you may deserve under the law. We can help present evidence to support your claim and may be able to fight for your claim either inside or outside court. Visit us at our website to learn more.

Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth

Chula Vista Office (Main Office)
815 3rd Ave #115
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Mission Valley Office
1761 Hotel Court #250
San Diego, CA 92108

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Highly recommend anyone that is looking to find an excellent injury attorney- go to the man Bruce Meth. Him and his colleague Jared Leuck work very hard and I’m very, very happy with the outcome of my case. My mother has been a client as well and we definitely recommend them. Some of the finest attorneys in San Diego! Jackie S.
★★★★★
Caring, honest accident lawyers are hard to find. After my incident involving an underinsured driver, Bruce Meth worked diligently on my case and achieved a very satisfactory result. Attorney Meth listened to my concerns, clearly explained my options, and kept me informed about progress on my case. I recommend him (five stars!) without reservation. Christine B.
★★★★★
Bruce and his staff are excellent in the way they handled my case. They were quick, efficient, and outstanding. Bruce communicated throughout the case and we got satisfaction for our car crash settlement. Bruce was there for us when we needed a skilled attorney to help us navigate through all the legalese and situations that arose during the entire process. We would recommend Bruce Meth for anyone who has a personal injury case. Dean F.
★★★★★
The service provided by all the staff at the office off attorney Bruce Meth was exceptional. They made me feel at peace when I was in one of the most stressful moment of my life, I received periodical phone calls and e-mails to check on me and to see how the treatment was working out for me. Mr Bruce explained everything in terms that I could understand and made me and my husband feel like family. I couldn’t be more happy of the outcome of my case, he worked hard to get me the best settlement possible. Marya L.
★★★★★
Jared Leuck handled my auto accident case in a professional and expedient fashion. When we first met, I was unsure whether I should proceed on my own or use his services. He objectively and accurately explained to pros and cons of each option. Shortly thereafter I enlisted his services. I am so happy I did. All through the process, he patiently took the time to explain each step. I was extremely satisfied with the outcome of the experience. I appreciate his diligent efforts and highly recommend him. Donald H.