While the Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman concentrate their practice on injuries resulting from personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability and wrongful death throughout the state of Ohio, our personal injury lawyers are also knowledgeable in the area of motor vehicle property damage laws.
Repair the Vehicle or Total Loss?
The standards for determining whether your vehicle should be repaired or is a total loss may vary from insurance company to insurance company. Generally, your vehicle will be considered a total loss when it is less expensive to replace it then repair the vehicle. It has been reported that that 12% to 14% of all accidents result in a total loss. Insurance companies are responsible for paying the actual case value (ACV) or market value of the vehicle at the time of the accident. The criteria for determining whether or not a vehicle is a total loss is determined by Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.11 and Ohio Administrative Code Section 3901-1-54.
If your vehicle is considered a total loss, you will have the option to receive the actual cash value (ACV) or retain the vehicle with a salvage title. Salvage motor vehicles are regulated by Ohio Revised Code Sections 4738.01 and Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.11. If you choose to keep the vehicle and obtain a salvage title, you will not receive the full actual case value (ACV) of the vehicle.
If the vehicle must be repaired, read our previous post on Repairing Your Vehicle After an Accident! to learn what you can expect regarding repair and property damage estimates, choice of repair parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket parts, and your choice of repair shop.
How Your Property Damage Settlement Is Determined!
Ohio Administrative Code Section 3901-1-54(H)(7) provides guidelines for insurance companies when determining how to calculate the actual cash value (ACV) of the damaged motor vehicle:
(a) The average cost of two or more comparable automobiles in the local market area if comparable automobiles are or were available to consumers within the last ninety days; or
(b) The average cost of two or more comparable automobiles in areas proximate to the local market area, including the closest in-state or out-of-state major metropolitan areas, that are or were available to consumers within the last ninety days if comparable automobiles are not available pursuant to paragraph (H)(7)(a) of this rule; or
(c) The average of two or more quotations obtained by the insurer from two or more licensed dealers located within the local market area if comparable automobiles are not available pursuant to paragraphs (H)(7)(a) and (H)(7)(b) of this rule; or
(d) The cost as determined from a generally recognized used motor vehicle industry source such as:
(i) An electronic database if the pertinent portions of the valuation documents generated by the database are provided by the insurer to the claimant upon request; or
(ii) A guidebook that is generally available to the general public if the insurer identifies the guidebook used as the basis for the cost to the claimant upon request, and to which appropriate adjustments for condition, mileage and major options are made and documented in the claim file.
Retaining Ownership with a Salvage Title.
Salvage motor vehicles are regulated by Ohio Revised Code Sections 4738.01 and Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.11. If you choose to keep the vehicle and obtain a salvage title, you will not receive the full actual case value (ACV) of the vehicle. In the event you elect to obtain a salvage title, you must properly document the title at your local Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV).
The personal injury layers at Cowan & Hilgeman have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our lawyers create plans of attack for each case specific to the client’s needs and expectations. The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman will help maximize the value of your claim and fully explain the claim process throughout the entire case. We offer free case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your case.