Total Vehicle Loss, What Insurance Owes You and Class Claims
Millions of car accidents occur each year in the United States. Many of these crashes result in damage severe enough that an insurance company will deem the vehicle to be a “total loss.” Contrary to popular belief, a totaled car is not always one that is simply beyond repair.
When you buy insurance, you do so with the expectation that if you must make a claim, your insurer will treat you fairly and will pay the claim in conformance with the law. Too often, however, especially when a car is rendered a “total loss,” insurance companies fail to do so.
What constitutes a Total Loss?
What constitutes a “total loss” of a vehicle is subject to varying state laws and applicable policy definitions. While some states impose a specific percentage threshold, generally, a vehicle is totaled when the cost of repairs exceeds the actual cash value of the vehicle minus its salvage value in its damaged state.
Likewise, the ultimate amount you are entitled to receive from insurance when your vehicle is deemed to be a total loss is based on the requirements of state law and the terms of the applicable insurance policy. Under the laws of several states, a total loss payout must include more than just the pre-crash value of the damaged car, particularly related costs such as sales tax, title transfer fees, registration fees, license plate transfer fees, and other mandatory costs.
However, some insurance companies, when settling first party total loss claims, neglect to include some or all of the taxes, fees and costs when calculating total loss settlement payments. For an individual policyholder, those items may seem to be relatively insignificant. But where the failure to pay affects a large group of insured claimants, the amount at stake can be very substantial. When that happens policyholders can file a class action lawsuit against an insurer to recover for themselves and all others similarly affected.
If you believe these taxes and fees were not included in the settlement your insurer offered you for your total loss, you may be entitled to pursue a claim to receive those additional amounts. Where it appears that the insurance company has failed to include these items as a general practice, moreover, a class action lawsuit may be appropriate to recover on your behalf and for all other persons similarly affected. And for that, Anderson + Wanca can help.
Contact Anderson + Wanca for Total Loss Vehicle Class Action Claims
The attorneys at Anderson + Wanca can help you avoid becoming a victim to an auto insurer’s attempt to escape paying you the full and proper compensation you are owed.
Anderson + Wanca is a boutique class action litigation law firm. Our consumer rights attorneys at Anderson + Wanca have years of experience with class action litigation, including fighting for the rights of insureds whose total loss claims have been improperly underpaid.
If you believe you have been wronged by an insurance company in connection with your total loss claim, or if you just want to be sure you have been offered a proper settlement, contact our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca. We will review your insurance policy, settlement documents, and the invoice for your replacement vehicle to see if you are being offered a fair settlement and, if not, to determine if there is a potential for a class action claim that our firm could advance on your behalf at no monetary cost to you.
Anderson + Wanca works with licensed attorneys throughout the United States
Related Legal Assistance for Total Loss Vehicle Settlements
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Total car loss claims in New Jersey