Any person involved in a car accident may feel overwhelmed by the ordeal. You should know right away if your car is a total loss after being in an accident.
To determine the value of your vehicle and your legal alternatives following an accident, you need to become familiar with the New Jersey statute that defines a total loss.
Read on and get help from a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey!
A totaled vehicle
A total loss occurs when the cost to repair a vehicle exceeds its actual cash value. The pre-crash valuation of the car is used to determine its real monetary value. If the cost to repair the car is more than the car is worth, the insurance company will write it off as a total loss.
Where can you look up the value of your car?
Before choosing whether to write off a car, the insurer considers its market worth.
- Do you know the going rate for other automobiles in your area?
- KBB’s recommended price
- NADA market value
After deducting your deductible, the insurance provider will pay you the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). Your insurance company will then pay the remaining balance for your total car. If you think your automobile may be a total loss, it is in your best interest to find out what similar vehicles are selling for in your region or to hire an auto insurance attorney to advocate on your behalf.
When is an automobile considered a total loss in New Jersey?
A car is considered a total loss in New Jersey if the price of repairs exceeds 80% of what the car is worth in cash. That indicates the insurance company will consider the car a total loss and pay the agreed-upon ACV minus any applicable deductibles if the cost of repairs is 80% or more of the ACV.
In the case of a total loss determination, however, 75% of the ACV will suffice if the damage to the vehicle was caused by a flood or other natural conditions.
In New Jersey, the insurance company has yet to get the final say on whether a car is repaired or replaced. Therefore, the owner may choose to have the car repaired, but the insurance company will not pay for the costs incurred.
If the car is fixed and then involved in another accident, the insurance company will only cover the actual cash value of the vehicle at the time of the second accident, not the cost of the repairs.