Total Vehicle Loss in Washington Vehicle Loss in Washington

There were more than 86,000 car accidents in the state of Washington in 2020 according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

When a car accident occurs, the vehicles involved typically experience damage and, in some cases, the damage may be severe enough for a vehicle to be considered a total loss.  To determine if a vehicle is a total loss in the state of Washington, the pre-accident, fair market value for the vehicles must be determined as well as the scrap value after the accident and the cost of repairs.

In Washington, a vehicle is considered a total loss if the cost of repairs plus its value as scrap is equivalent to or exceeds the pre-accident fair market value of the car.  The fair market value under Washington law is the amount a well-informed buyer would reasonably pay to a well-informed seller.  A number of factors are used to determine the value including sales data for vehicles that are comparable in make, model, mileage, year, body type, and condition.  The insurance companies will determine the pre-accident fair market value of the vehicle as well as whether it should be declared a total loss.

Anderson + Wanca can help those who need to file a total car loss insurance settlement in the state of Washington.  Total loss settlements involve more than just the pre-accident value of the vehicle, insurance companies must also factor in applicable taxes and fees to determine your settlement.  Our attorneys will review your total loss settlement and all related documents to ensure that you are getting a fair settlement for your vehicle.

Total Vehicle Loss Settlements in Washington

After an accident occurs, the drivers involved must immediately file claims with their insurance providers.  The insurance companies will then determine the cost of repair and the fair market value of the vehicles, and they may consult sales data and an auto body repair shop to help with their estimates.

If your vehicle is declared a total loss, your settlement for the fair market value of your vehicle should come from your insurance provider or the insurance provider of the at-fault driver.  Applicable taxes and fees also need to be factored into the settlement.

What Happens When Your Vehicle is a Total Loss?

The insurance company will determine the fair market value of your vehicle based on the pre-accident condition of your vehicle and sales data of vehicles of a similar make, model, year, and mileage.  The insurance company will then determine the cost of repairs as well as the scrap value of your vehicle in its post-accident state. If the fair market value of your vehicle is found to be equal to or less than the cost of repairs plus the scrap value, your vehicle will be declared a total loss.

Insurance companies must factor in the following taxes and fees in addition to the value of your car when determining your total loss settlement:

  • Sales tax
  • Title transfer
  • License plate transfer
  • Vehicle registration
  • Other mandatory Washington fees

If your insurance company does not include these taxes and fees, it can affect the amount of your settlement.

Total Vehicle Loss Claims with Anderson + Wanca

Our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca can assist those in Washington state with their total loss vehicle claims.  We understand the applicable laws and have the experience to get you a fair settlement from your total vehicle loss.

We will review your insurance policy, replacement vehicle invoices, settlement documents, and applicable fees and taxes to ensure that your settlement is fair.  We can also help negotiate on your behalf if your settlement does not factor in the taxes and fees.

You can reach the attorneys of Anderson + Wanca at (888) 505-0953 or you can email us at

We work with licensed attorneys everywhere in the U.S.

Total Vehicle Loss

If you have sustained a total vehicle loss in the state of Arizona, we would be happy to review your settlement documents, your insurance policy, and the invoice for your replacement vehicle to determine if you are owed additional money.

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