When someone gets into a serious car crash, sometimes the damage to the vehicle is so severe that the vehicle owner’s auto insurance provider, following an inspection of the vehicle, will declare the vehicle a total loss. Basically, a damaged vehicle is considered to be a total loss when its estimated repair costs are higher than the vehicle’s actual cash value.
If this happens, the insurer will present a settlement offer to the owner that’s based on the value of the vehicle that’s being considered to be a total loss.
What’s considered a total loss isn’t always easy to determine, and the determination factors greatly vary from one state to another. In Illinois, insurance claims adjusters utilize the TLF or total loss formula in which the claims adjuster will figure out the repair costs plus the vehicle’s scrap value.
If this figure is higher or equals your vehicle’s actual cash value before the auto accident, the adjuster will recommend to your insurer that repairing your vehicle is the most viable option. Actual cash value is a property’s (your vehicle, in this case) depreciated value at the time of the actual loss.
The problem with relying on the total loss formula is that the values calculated using the formula could differ from one insurance company to another, which means that one company might end up declaring a vehicle a total loss while another might elect to repair it.
If you do not agree with your insurer’s valuation of your totaled vehicle, your options include simply accepting it and moving on, try to negotiate a better settlement with your insurer, or file a lawsuit against your insurer. Whether you try to sue your insurance provider or appeal their decision, you’ll need to have proof for disagreeing with your insurer’s valuation.
You’ll have to provide indisputable proof that the value of your vehicle is higher than your insurance company’s valuation. More specifically, you must show the exact condition your vehicle was in before the accident and proof of its actual value. The most practical way to prove your vehicle’s actual condition is through showing reasonably recent photos of videos of it.
But the most surefire way to prove your vehicle’s actual value is by having a qualified appraiser check your vehicle. The expert opinion of a qualified appraiser can also communicate to your auto insurance provider that you mean business and will do everything that you can, hire legal representation if you must, to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
If you’re not convinced that your vehicle is a total loss and would like to appeal your insurance provider’s decision, the Horwitz Law Group can help. Our experienced Chicago auto insurance claims lawyer can help you determine the real value of your vehicle and negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance provider. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation.
for a young lady who was run over by a private waste hauling company while crossing the street.
for a client injured in a 2005 Metra train derailment case.
for a client whose family was killed by a street sweeper that ran a red light.
for a premises liability accident resulting in below the knee amputation.
for a woman who was hit by a car while crossing the street.
for a client who was injured on the CTA red line train.
for a client who had lawyers at another law firm trying to settle the accident case for only $60,000.
for a client who was crushed between two cars nearly severing off her leg.
for a client whose son was accidentally run over by her husband as he backed out of their driveway.
To arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Illinois injury lawyer complete the e-mail form below.