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HomeBlogAuto AccidentsHow to Value Your Vehicle If It is Considered a Loss in an Accident

How to Value Your Vehicle If It is Considered a Loss in an Accident

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. 

Understanding Actual Cash Value and Total Loss Claims

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. 

What to Do If You Don’t Agree with Your Auto Insurance Provider’s Valuation of Your Vehicle

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. 

Contact a Skilled Chicago Auto Insurance Claims Lawyer Now

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. 



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