Car Declared Totaled? Here’s What to Do Next


OMAHA, Nebraska. If you’ve been in a serious accident, you may be entitled to seek damages and a recovery from your insurance company for medical expenses and repairs to your vehicle. If your car was seriously damaged, however, your insurance adjuster may declare your vehicle a total loss. Cars are declared totaled when the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds a certain preset percentage of the cost of replace the car. Every state has different thresholds for when an insurance company can declare your vehicle a total loss. According to, the threshold is 75% in Nebraska. This means that if the costs to repair your vehicle exceed 75% of the cost to replace your vehicle based on its current market value, your car will be declared totaled. Your car may also be declared totaled if your vehicle is too damaged to be safely replaced.

You’ll never receive enough money from insurance companies to buy a brand-new car if your vehicle has been declared totaled (just driving a new car off the lot results in significant depreciation, or reduction in the value of your car). However, it is important to take a close look at how insurance companies are determining the value of your car. According to U.S. News & World Report, the value of your vehicle can depend on many factors and car insurance companies may not always take these factors into account when they determine value. For example, U.S. News & World Report notes that you should make sure that insurance companies have accurate information about the make, mileage, year, and special features on your vehicle. Things like lower mileage and added features can influence the value of your vehicle. If you regularly maintained your vehicle, showing maintenance records can also result in a higher pre-accident appraisal value. A well-maintained car is worth more than one that didn’t get its regular tune-ups. Finally, look at local classifieds and dealerships to see if there are vehicles like yours on sale. If the sale prices you see exceed the settlement you are being offered for your car, then you might want to ask your insurance adjuster why you are receiving a lower settlement. Sometimes insurance adjusters use the Kelley Blue Book value to determine the value of a car, but car costs can vary from state to state and city to city. The Blue Book is just a place to start when it comes to researching your car’s value.

If you have looked at all these factors and believe you are being offered a lower settlement than you may deserve, consider appealing the claim with your insurance company. A car accident lawyer like Rensch & Rensch Law in Omaha, Nebraska can review your case, appraise your car’s value, and fight to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law. Visit us at to learn more and to protect your rights.

Rensch & Rensch Law
7602 Pacific Street,
Suite 102
Omaha, NE 68114

Rensch & Rensch

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