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When is a Miami Car Totaled?


Often, after a car accident, people think about repairing their vehicle so they can return to the daily schedule they had prior to the collision. But sometimes, when damage to a vehicle is severe, a car may be deemed a total loss or a totaled car by an auto insurance company.

In Florida, the total loss threshold for cars is 80%. Essentially this means that if the costs to repair your crashed car are larger than 80% of the amount the car is worth, the actual cash value of the vehicle, the car may be totaled.

Of course, the first thing you need to do in the aftermath of a Florida car accident is make sure everyone in the car and at the accident site is physically ok. Any injuries, however minor, should be assessed by a healthcare professional. Then, connect with a Miami car accident lawyer to explore your damage recovery options.

What if I Still Owe a Lender Money?

There are times when a car is declared a total loss and the owner of the vehicle still owes money to a bank or lender. This happens when a car is financed at purchase and the individual who purchased the car did not fully pay off their loan. In these situations, the lender would be reimbursed and any remaining funds would be distributed to you.

Conversely, if the value of the vehicle is determined to be less than what you owe, you may have to pay the balance. For example, if you owe a lender $10,000 and the actual cash value of the vehicle is $9,000, the insurance would pay the lender $9,000 and you would be responsible for the remaining $1,000.

Your personal feelings about the car, how much you care about it or how it fits into your household budget are not part of assessing a vehicle’s actual cash value. Total loss determinations are purely financial calculations. Deciding a car is totaled should not be taken as a personal attack, it is a financial decision.

What if the Airbags Deployed?

You may hear someone say that when airbags deploy, a car is totaled. While this is true in many circumstances it is not always true. Sometimes, airbags deploying and destroying the dash of the vehicle results in a repair cost that is too high in relation to the value of the vehicle. But if the car has a high cash value, it may still be possible to repair the car. Replacing a dash and installing airbag components may be costly, but the numbers may make it a worthwhile repair if the vehicle is an expensive make and model.

Were you in a Miami car crash and now find yourself fighting with a car insurance company about the value of your vehicle? Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Spencer Morgan Law. Accident cases can be complex, a knowledgeable attorney is needed to navigate the complicated negotiations with insurance companies and legal professionals. Contact us today at 305-423-3800 to schedule your free consultation.

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