Vehicle accidents often result in significant property damage. It is not uncommon for a vehicle to be considered “totaled” after a crash occurs, but what exactly does that mean?
Here, we want to examine the definition of a totaled vehicle while also looking at how this may affect your property damage claim moving forward. It is important to understand how this works because you need a vehicle to carry out your everyday activities.
What Does Totaled Mean?
A vehicle in North Carolina will be considered a total loss if the cost of repair plus the salvage value of the vehicle is at least 75% of the actual cash value of the vehicle.
“Actual cash value” is defined as how much the vehicle was worth right before the accident occurred. The “salvage value” of a vehicle is the value of the car in the damaged state.
For an example of a total loss in North Carolina, let us examine a vehicle with a pre-crash value of $15,000. Let us suppose an accident occurs, and the cost of repair would equal $4,000, and the salvage value of the vehicle is $8,000. In this case, the repair and salvage value of the vehicle is $12,000, which is 80% of the pre-crash value mentioned above. In this scenario, the vehicle would be considered a total loss because the total rises above the 75% pre-crash value threshold.
What Can You do if Your Car is Totaled?
If your car is totaled as a result of a vehicle accident, you will need to determine the next steps carefully. Insurance carriers may pay some of the compensation, and the hope is that this is enough to pay off any existing loan on your vehicle. All drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 in property damage liability coverage, so if your car is totaled as a result of the negligence of another driver, you may be able to recover at least $25,000 in compensation.
If you were at fault for a vehicle accident, then you will have to rely on your own insurance carrier to recover compensation. Hopefully, you have collision coverage as part of your insurance package. You will have to have this type of insurance if you still owe money on your vehicle, but individuals who have paid off their vehicle do not have to carry collision coverage.
When a car is considered totaled in NC, then the individual will receive the car’s actual cash value from the insurance carrier, up to the limits of the policy. In this state, the insurance carrier is not required to pay for title costs or any applicable taxes if the policyholder chooses to purchase a replacement vehicle. However, some insurance carriers will do so.
Working With an Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident in North Carolina, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Dealing with insurance carriers if a vehicle is a total loss can be challenging, and you need to make sure that you recover as much compensation as possible so you can get a new vehicle and get back on the road quickly. Call our Raleigh car accident lawyers today.