After a car crash or traffic accident, you, your insurance company, and all other parties involved may disagree about the payout owed for vehicle damages. The amount paid in automotive repairs can be based on several factors, including the age of the vehicle, cash value of the car, and nature of the accident. Unfortunately, because there are so many moving parts involved, recovering the total amount of money that you deserve can be a lengthy, burdensome, and confusing process.

Insurance companies and auto mechanics are both incentivized by your financial loss. They may misinform or confuse you intentionally to manipulate the payout amount included in the policy, so it is best to speak to a qualified attorney before you accept any payment. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP uses the experience of years of expert negotiation skills to earn fair settlements for our clients so they can get back to their everyday lives as quickly as possible. We fight for equitable policies and payouts. Contact our lawyers today at (212) 986-7353 for a custom-tailored consultation regarding your case.

How the State of New York Defines “Totaled”

The state of New York requires the insurance company to pay the actual cash value (ACV) or a specific payout amount if the vehicle is totaled. To be considered a total loss in New York, the cost of repairs to your vehicle must be at least 75% of the car’s actual cash value.

New York requires insurance companies to pay the policyholder the actual cash value for their losses. In addition, insurance companies are required to pay applicable taxes and title costs if the policy owner needs to purchase a new car.

How do Insurance Companies determine the ACV of a Totaled Car?

While each insurance company’s specific insurance policy may be different, they typically focus on a few areas:

  • Car modifications and details
  • Age of the car and resale value
  • Similar cars on the market
  • Mileage on the car
  • Previous damages or accidents that may have happened to the car

Some policyholders learn that their insurance companies offer them much less than what they paid for their cars. If you disagree with your insurance company and believe you deserve more for your vehicle, speak to a New York car accident attorney.

Common Types of Insurance Coverage

It is illegal to drive in New York without car insurance. The crime can carry the following charges: a fine of up to $1,500, the impounding of your vehicle, the suspension of your license, or jail time. There are many types of insurance. Here are the most common:

  • Liability Coverage – This protects the policyholder if they cause damage to another person or that person’s property. Liability coverage funds are paid toward someone else’s medical bills and damages. New York State has a minimum amount of liability coverage of:
    • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
    • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
    • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident
  • Collision Coverage – This protection covers the policyholder if they hit another car or hit a non-moving object. It will protect your vehicle regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive Coverage – This covers your car from theft, vandalism, weather damage, and fires.

At-Fault Accidents

At-fault accidents occur when one driver is proven to have caused the accident by being negligent or careless. Most insurance companies reimburse the injured driver for medical and property damage they suffered in these cases. However, when multiple drivers are at fault, the court’s negligence law determines each driver’s financial responsibility.

Calculating Insurance Policies

Often, an insurance company and a policyholder disagree with the evaluation of their car and the actual cash value payment received. Before you accept an unfair offer from an insurance company, it is vital to speak with a qualified professional and discuss your options. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP will fight for the best settlement possible. Contact our experienced attorneys at (212) 986-7353 for a consultation.


Posted in: Auto Accident