Even though vehicles are generally much safer than they used to be, it sometimes seems like even a fender-bender can cause extensive damage. A serious crash can have a devastating impact on a car.
It’s understandable that you may never feel safe in your car again, even if it’s fully repaired and looks as good as new. But what actually determines whether a vehicle is deemed a “total loss” for insurance purposes?
How does Ohio determine total loss?
State laws calculate “total loss” differently. In Ohio, a car is designated a total loss if the cost of repair plus the salvage value do not exceed its actual cash value.
What does that mean exactly? The “salvage value” is how much it’s worth in the condition it’s in immediately after the crash. The “actual cash value” (or ACV) is how much it was worth immediately before the crash. This is its depreciated value – not what you paid when you bought it.
If your car is determined to have been totaled, that means that if the loss is covered by insurance, the insurer is required to pay you the ACV plus the title fee and taxes you’re charged for a new vehicle.
If the crash that left your car in such bad shape that it’s necessary to determine whether it’s a total loss was caused by another driver, you may well be dealing with physical and psychological injuries of your own. It’s wise not to deal with any insurance company on your own or accept any settlement until you know the full extent of your injuries, expenses and damages. It’s wise to have legal guidance to help ensure you get the justice and compensation to which you’re entitled.