Total loss on a car with a salvaged title.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

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Insurance Question from San Francisco, CA

Asked on 02/16/2012

Total loss on a car with a salvaged title. My car is a great car, it runs great, looks great, but has a salvaged title from a previous accident. My car was parked on the street, and some one backed into it, smashing the front. He left a note with his number. Well to make a long story short, they want to make it a total loss, but I'm afraid they are going to try to give me practically nothing, considering the salvage title. I feel like I'm going to be left with nothing after this is over.. Is there anything I can do?

Answer given on February 19, 2012

The hazard of buying a car with a salvaged title is that the value of the car is reduced due to the salvaged title. Even though it was repaired and ran properly it has suffered enough damage to have been considered a total at one time so future damage can be more excessive due to the previous damage.You should talk to the adjuster and see what they are going to offer for the total loss of the car. I presume they know the car has a salvaged title. If not, it is not your responsibility to tell them immediately. If they offer a fair price accept the offer and make sure you have full payment before you give them title. If possible, have the check cashed before you give them the title.If they know it is a salvage, then understand the car is worth more to you than its blue book value. HOwever, make the adjuster aware of the condition of the car and mileage in an attempt to get as much out of the car that you can.

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