CLASS ACTION LAW FIRMTotal Loss Car Accident Class Action Lawsuit- FAQ's

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Is your vehicle (owned or leased) totaled and did you have it totaled while covered under an auto insurance policy in the last 5 years? Consumers taking action against insurance companies can argue that they are owed hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you were insured under an auto insurance policy, experienced a total loss car accident, and were not reimbursed for sales tax and other fees by your insurance company in the last 5 years, you may qualify to join a total loss car accident class action lawsuit investigation. We have a Q&A on what total loss car accident class action lawsuit comprises of.

Total Loss Car Accident Class Action FAQ’s

What is a “Total Loss” Class Action Lawsuit Investigation?

Total loss car accident class action lawsuits filed against insurance providers claim that the companies violate their own contracts by failing to reimburse policyholders for sales tax, title transfer fees, tag transfer fees, and more after a total loss car accident. The total loss car accident class action lawsuits argue that sales tax and other fees “are components of ‘actual cash value’ under the policy.”

Policyholders can argue that costs such as sales tax and title fees are mandatory when purchasing or leasing a replacement vehicle to replace a total loss vehicle.

What is the total loss class action
Qualify for Class Action

How do I know if I qualify for the totaled car accident Class Action?

You may qualify for this investigation if:

  1. Your vehicle was totaled after a car accident
  2. Your insurance company paid for the total loss and not the other driver’s insurance company.

If you were insured under an auto insurance policy, experienced a total loss car accident, and were not reimbursed for sales tax and other fees by your insurance company in the last 5 years, you may qualify to join a total loss car accident class action lawsuit investigation.

Does the Lawsuit also cover a total loss lease car or financed car?

Yes, depending on the coverage of the policy. The coverage on a rental is usually limited to a maximum of 30 days, seldom long enough to resolve a total loss claim, especially where the insured can’t accept the insurance company’s offer.

Leased or Financed Car accident - Total Loss
Insurance car totaled

How does the insurance company determine if your car should be totaled?

According to, a damaged vehicle is labeled a “total loss” by the insurance company “when the cost to repair the vehicle to its pre-damaged state exceeds the cost of the vehicle’s worth, or actual cash value”. Determining whether a vehicle is a total loss depends on the car insurance company’s standards, the vehicle’s condition, and state laws.

What is included in a total loss settlement from my insurance company?

After a total loss car accident, owners may have to pay costs like the car’s sales tax, title transfer fees, and other costs. The car’s value is usually assessed as the fair market value of the car on the day of the accident. After an accident occurs, the insurance company assesses the damage done to a car so they can make a determination of how much the insurance company should reimburse the policyholder. Car insurance policies should cover the cost of all of the fees and expenses associated with a total loss car accident. However, some companies may just be covering the cost of the car itself after a total loss car accident, in an effort to pay out less money in a claim.

Car insurance Settlement
Insurance Settlement
Insurance Claim
Total Loss Car Accident Lawyers

What should I do if my car is totaled by the insurance company and I do not agree with the settlement?

If you disagree with the settlement, you can dispute and challenge the amount. You can also sue if you are treated unfairly. Insurance companies will generally ask you to provide documentation to back up the reason for your disagreement. Insurance companies then review the documentation for accuracy and applicability to the total loss vehicle. If there is still disagreement, state law and the terms of your policy describe how an appraisal process will resolve the differences.

Your insurance company will hire an appraiser to appraise your vehicle. If you do not hire your own appraiser, then the insurance company will pay you what they deem is appropriate. In effect, you will be stuck with the insurance company’s valuation of your vehicle. Once both appraisers have compiled their reports, they try to reach an agreement on the value of your vehicle before scheduling a formal hearing, and make a determination as to which appraiser is right about the vehicle’s value.

You can also sue under the following laws:

  1. Low-Ball Offer.

    Compelling a policyholder to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by insureds, when the insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered, is an unfair practice. [Insurance Code § 790.03(h)(6)]  The California Insurance Commissioner Regulations states in part: “No insurer shall attempt to settle a claim by making a settlement offer that is unreasonably low.” [California Code of Regulations Title X, Chapter 5, Subchapter 7.5, § 2695.7(g)]

  1. “Forcing” appraisal.

    An insurer’s delay in payment of first party benefits could be found to have been made unreasonably, thereby “forcing” the insured to go through an appraisal procedure.  If such a finding is made, that would constitute a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which will support a claim for bad faith. [Bernstein v. Travelers Ins. Co., 2006 WL 2567875, pg. 6-7 (N.D. Cal. 2006)

  1. Delay in making payments.

    The actionable withholding of benefits may consist of unreasonably delaying payments when due. [Major v. Western Home Ins. Co., 169 Cal. App. 4th 1197, 1209, 87 Cal. Rptr. 3d 556 (4th Dist. 2009)] Insurance Code section 790.03 defines as deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance certain acts performed by an insurer towards its insured. An insurer: “Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear is an unfair practice.”

Shamis & Gentile, P.A. has and continues to provide outstanding legal services in the Florida and New York communities.
Shamis & Gentile, P.A. distinguishes itself because of our experience and legal resources
to handle virtually any case involving personal injury, personal injury protection, class actions/mass tort, and contract disputes.

Get in touch with a total loss car accident lawyer from Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
to find out if you qualify for the class action lawsuit.

Contact Shamis & Gentile – Total Loss Car Accident Lawyer in South Florida

At Shamis & Gentile P.A., you will always deal with a seasoned attorney and some of the most innovative support staff in the profession. Our law firm is progressive and trusted within the legal community and is often called upon to settle cases that other law firms may not be able to handle on their own. Whether by trial or strategic negotiation, the attorneys and staff at Shamis & Gentile P.A. are dedicated to providing tireless legal representation in every aspect of your case so that you can return to normalcy in your life.

Contact Shamis & Gentile P.A. now for more information on a Total Loss Car Accident Class Action Lawsuit.