What type of injury have you suffered?

Car Accident

  • Car Accident
  • Head Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Truck Accident
  • Wrongful Death
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 24/7

(877) 880-4090



Scroll Down

What Happens When Your Car Is Totaled, But Still Driveable?

Posted April 1, 2024 | Personal Injury Blog

The car is totaled

Many people who purchase a new car go to great lengths to keep it looking new. Some who have owned their vehicles for years may get emotionally attached to them. It does not matter whether the car is new or used; the devastation that comes from getting the news that your car is totaled feels the same.

Although no one expects to be involved in an accident, car crashes occur frequently in the US. In fact, in 2020, a reportable car accident happened approximately every minute in the State of Texas alone. 

What if you have recently been in an accident, and your car is considered a total loss, but you can still drive it? What options do you have regarding your vehicle? 

When the Claim Adjuster Totals Your Car 

In the aftermath of a car accident, the insurance company assigns an adjuster to investigate the accident and calculate the value of the claim. The adjuster is looking out for the interests of the company. If he or she determines that the damage is greater than the value of the car, the insurer may consider it totaled. 

If it is determined the car is a total loss, the insurance company may offer to pay the value of the car before the accident. However, even though the insurance company offers you a payout, that does not mean that you have to accept the money. There are other options available to you.

Options Available If Your Car Has Been Totaled But It Is Still Driveable 

What if the adjuster has totaled your car, but you can still drive it? Perhaps you feel emotionally attached to the vehicle and wish to keep using it. Know that you do have choices. 

The following highlights some of the options available to you.

Negotiate with the insurance company

If you disagree with the estimated value that the adjuster has given to your car, you can negotiate a better offer. To do so, you must prove that the adjuster’s estimates are too low. 

Perhaps there were some things of value that he or she overlooked. Some types of modifications, for example, actually increase the value of the car. 

These improvements could include:

  • Leather interior
  • New tires
  • New rims
  • New sound system
  • Ambient dashboard lights
  • Any recent repairs

Factoring in the cost that you spent for these upgrades could increase the value of the settlement that is being offered for the total loss. Additionally, you can do some research online to find out whether a car similar to yours is being sold at a higher price than what you are offered.

Get another opinion

Another option is to get a second opinion on the value of your car. One way to do this is to have another mechanic take a look at it. 

An experienced mechanic would know how to calculate the costs of parts and labor, which is especially helpful if it is a foreign car. He or she may arrive at a figure higher than the estimate given by the adjuster.

Of course, you could hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your claim. When it comes to negotiating with insurance companies, having the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney is invaluable. 

An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to acquire evidence that may increase the value of your claim and how to negotiate with insurance adjusters. If he or she cannot reach a fair settlement, then your lawyer can argue your case in court. 

Keep the car

A third option you have is to keep your car. While there can be certain advantages to taking this route, such as retaining your beloved vehicle, there are also some drawbacks. 

For example, if you decide to keep your vehicle, the insurance company may deduct the amount they may have received if the car had been sold at an auction or a salvage. This means you could be left with the costs of repairing the car. 

Also, you might have more difficulty selling the car in the future if it has been given a salvage title. When people purchase a used car, they look up information regarding the car’s history. If the car has a salvage title, there is a strong possibility that no one would be willing to purchase it except for a junkyard. 

Further, when you decide to retain a car that has been deemed totaled, it may be difficult to find a company to insure it. The costs of future repairs for a “totaled” car may be too risky for some insurance companies. 

It’s possible you could trade your totaled car for another vehicle. Doing so can be challenging since car dealers will not take a salvaged car. But what if you find a dealer that agrees to buy your car? You will likely be offered an extremely reduced amount for the vehicle. 

How a Lawyer Can Help When Your Car Is Totaled 

In the aftermath of a serious car accident, you may be dealing with a great deal of stress from mounting medical bills or even an inability to return to work. Additionally, you may be suffering physical pain from injuries sustained in the crash. So, while it is true that you can fight with the insurance company to secure a fair amount for your totaled car, why go that route? 

Let the experienced law firm of Fielding Law go to bat for you while you focus on healing. Remember, the insurance adjuster is looking to save the company money. On the flip side, the personal injury lawyers of Fielding Law will have your best interests at heart.

Our firm has the resources to investigate, calculate the total value of your car, and present you with options for you to decide how to move forward with your car accident claim. Our attorneys can guide you in pursuing the compensation you deserve. 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation without delay. Call us at (877) 880-4090 or submit our online contact form.

Zoom Screenshot_16.png

Text edited by Mitchell Fielding, a personal injury lawyer and partner at Fielding Law. Mitchell is known for his hard work ethic, friendly personality and dedication to the law. You can find out personal injury law offices in Taylorsville, UT and Mesquite, TX.