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What Happens When a New Car is Totaled in an Accident?

Everyone who has ever bought a brand-new car has had someone tell them that it loses value the moment you drive it off the lot. It's true. But to many people, that one fact isn't enough to dissuade them from the joy of owning a car that's never been driven by anyone else. The period that you're "upside down" on your new car doesn't last long.

But what happens when a brand-new car gets totaled?

What is a total loss?

First, you need to know what a car insurance company will consider a total loss. Your car doesn't have to be wrecked beyond repair to be considered a total loss. Cars with expensive airbag systems, headlights, or other parts can be considered total losses after even just small fender benders. An insurance company will consider your car a total loss if the repairs minus the deductible is more than the market value of the car. The amount of damage only matters in relation to the car's total worth.

What do I need to do after an accident?

After an accident, you need to know how much your car is worth before your insurance company makes you a settlement offer. You should also find out how your insurance determines a total loss and how it will figure the value of your vehicle. If you don't feel the settlement is fair, check your insurance policy to see if you can hire your own appraiser to get a second opinion. You will likely need to go through arbitration to dispute the payout.

At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 35 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.

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