Disputing a Total Loss After a Car Accident

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Some car accidents are fatal and lead to extensive damage to vehicles. In such a case, the insurance company may declare your car a total loss if the repair cost exceeds its value or the car has been damaged beyond repair. To claim the vehicle as a total loss, the company will send an adjuster to evaluate the car’s value after the accident. They will check the extent of the damage and other things that cause value depreciation. The company will then use this information to determine the worth of your car. The car will be declared totaled if the value is less than the repair costs.

Disputing a Total Loss

As mentioned earlier, you can dispute a total loss declaration and find proof showing that the car holds more value than the repairs. When you deny the statement, you demonstrate that the insurer was not accurate on the value of your vehicle. You should do the following things if you dispute a totaled car declaration.

  • Hire a Lawyer

Suppose you have compelling reasons to prove that the insurance company undervalued your car. In that case, it is best to work with a car insurance dispute attorney to show your vehicle is still valuable. The lawyer will help collect proof and all the information you need to show that your car was prematurely evaluated.

Car Accident

  • Gather Information

Another thing you need is to gather information about your car and all the necessary documents. You will need a statement from a mechanic showing the total cost of the repairs. An auto expert can also help establish your car is not totaled based on its value in the market.

  • Evaluate the Current Market Value of the Car

Use reliable sources to get accurate information about the car’s current market value. It will help prove the total value is not less than the cost of repairs as the insurance company claims.

  • Contact the Insurance Company

Let the company know you dispute their decision and give the documents and notes that prove your car was undervalued.

What to Do if the Car is Declared Totaled

If you have received a declaration that your car is totaled, you might disagree with the order and seek to dispute it.

  • Remove the License Plate

If you are getting rid of the car after being declared totaled, you should remove the license plates to avoid problems. Keep the plates with you until they are no longer in the DMV record.

  • Remove Your Stuff

Make sure you also remove your items from the car. This is crucial since once you hand over the key, you may not recover anything you leave behind.

  • Handle Paperwork

Turn in the car keys to the adjuster. The adjuster will give you some documents you need to fill out and sign to show you no longer possess the vehicle. In another scenario, you may want to keep and refurbish the car.


This is what is involved in a totaled car declaration. You can agree or disagree with the decision based on the damage and your car’s market value. If you agree, you can choose to keep the vehicle or transfer ownership to the insurance company. If you disagree, let a lawyer help you solve the dispute.


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