Total Vehicle Loss in California
In 2018, there were 185,000 car accidents that occurred in the state of California according to the California Department of Transportation.
Those involved in a car accident may experience serious damage to their vehicles and if the damage is extensive, it may end up being declared a total loss. In the state of California, total loss vehicles are determined by a total loss formula (TLF) that includes the actual cash value of the vehicle, cost of repairs, and salvage value.
Vehicles are considered a total loss in California if the cost of repairs plus the salvage value is equal to or greater than the actual cash value of the vehicle. The actual cash value is determined by the condition of the vehicle, model age, and mileage and the salvage value is the value that the vehicle is worth in its wrecked condition. Your insurance company will ultimately determine these values with the help of professionals and additional resources.
Anderson + Wanca can help those in California filing for a total loss car insurance settlement. When insurance companies determine the vehicle total loss settlement, they need to also factor in all applicable taxes and fees. Our attorneys will review your total loss claim, insurance policy, and other related documents as well as applicable taxes and fees to ensure you get a fair settlement for your vehicle loss.
Total Loss Vehicle Settlements in California
After a traffic accident occurs, the drivers of the vehicles involved must file insurance claims. The insurance companies will determine the actual cash value and salvage value of the vehicles and they may consult an auto body shop to estimate the repair costs.
If your vehicle is declared a total loss, your insurance provider or the insurance provider of the at-fault driver will pay you the actual cash value of your vehicle. The insurance company must also account for and cover sales taxes and title costs for a replacement vehicle.
What Happens When Your Insurance Totals Your Car?
Your insurance company will determine if your vehicle is a total loss by first determining the actual pre-crash cash value of your car based on the condition of your vehicle, year, make, model, mileage, and other related factors. They will then determine the cost of the repairs needed for the vehicle to run again as well as the salvage value, or value in its wrecked condition.
Your insurance provider must also cover applicable taxes and fees including:
- Sales tax
- Title transfer
- Vehicle registration
- License plate transfer
- Other mandatory California fees
If your insurance provider does not account for and cover these taxes and fees, this can affect the amount of your vehicle total loss settlement.
Total Loss Vehicle Claims with Anderson + Wanca
Our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca can assist you with your total loss vehicle claim in California and ensure you get a fair settlement. We are experienced with vehicle loss cases and understand all applicable laws.
We will review your insurance policy, settlement documents, and replacement vehicle invoice as well as taxes and fees involved. You can expect us to negotiate a bigger settlement if we find that you are not being fairly compensated for the actual cash value of your vehicle.
We work with licensed attorneys across the U.S.