Open Accessibility Menu

What Does a Total Loss Vehicle Mean?

Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP

Were you in a car accident recently and the insurance adjuster said your car was a total loss? Hearing that your car is a “total loss” sounds bad, but what does it really mean?

There are three insurance definitions of a “total loss” vehicle:

  • Repairing the vehicle would be unsafe, usually due to some sort of catastrophic damage that makes key parts unstable or prone to combustion.
  • Vehicle repairs would likely cost more than the vehicle’s estimated market value.
  • Vehicle damage meets or exceeds the relevant state’s total loss definition.

In most cases, a total loss is when the repair costs exceed the vehicle’s market value. For example, it might cost $5,000 to replace damaged components of a 20-year-old vehicle that likely only sell for $3,000 worth of scrap metal. The insurance company won’t authorize repairs in that situation if it could save money by paying the policyholder just the sell price.

Some states have total loss definitions that include a certain total value of repairs. For example, a vehicle could be a total loss if it needs $10,000 in repairs, regardless of whether or not it is still technically drivable. Many states like Texas use a basic definition, though, which states that a damaged vehicle is a total loss as soon as its repair costs exceed the market value.

Did you get hit by a reckless driver in Austin, Texas who totaled your vehicle? You could be offered just the market value of your car, which is probably much lower than what you really need to get back on your feet. To fight for a fair amount of compensation, team up with Howry, Breen & Herman by contacting us onlinenow.

Howry Breen & Herman Building

Contact Us Today

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • "They gave me hope and then delivered!"

    - M.A.

  • "We are so grateful they believed in us and partnered with us to handle this case!"

    - J.K.

  • "We were always one step ahead!"

    - T.B.

  • "They were so fierce and tough with the other side while being so caring towards my family."

    - L.P.

  • "I greatly admired their advocacy and professionalism!"

    - S.O.

  • "It was like having true friends as my attorneys!"

    - C.B.

  • "They are true trial attorneys!"

    - G.N.

  • "I always felt confident in Howry Breen & Herman and knew I could trust them."

    - J.M.

  • "Definitely recommend, they are the best."

    - J.R.

  • "Thank you for helping my father through his case!"

    - B.M.

  • "I could have not found more caring people!"

    - M.A.

  • "Sean and his team were the breath of fresh air that we needed. Still thanking you guys, 9 years later!"

    - A.L.

  • "Thank you for taking our case."

    - L.M.

  • "They exceeded all expectations."

    - T.R.

View More