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Car Crash with police

Property Damage: Repairable or Total Loss?

What will happen to my damaged car? Feb. 26, 2024

When your motor vehicle is damaged in an accident that is not your fault, there are typically two outcomes. It will either be repairable or declared a total loss.

The insurance company for the at-fault driver will have an estimate performed on the extent of the damage. It may send out an adjuster to examine your car, have you take your vehicle to a body shop, or ask you to take pictures of the damage and email them to the company.

The appraisal of the damages will both estimate the cost of repairs and the fair market value of your vehicle in the condition it was before the accident. If the damages exceed the value of the vehicle (or in some cases approach 80% of the fair market value) you car will be declared a total loss and you will be paid the fair market value of the vehicle.

On the other hand, if the damages are less than the value of your vehicle the at-fault carrier will pay for the required repairs to return your vehicle to the same condition it was in before the accident.