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Q
Does Georgia law require that Itotal my vehicle if the insurance company wants me to after a car accident?

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Shane Smith, an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney who limits his practice to Car Wrecks, Car Accidents, Personal Injury, DUI Victims, Slip and Falls, and other injuries relating to Back and Neck Injuries

A

Sometimes when the damage to an older vehicle is merely cosmetic, the insurance company will want to total the car or declare it a total loss and my clients wanted to keep the car.  Many times the reason is  because they can still drive the car around, and they don't wish to purchase a new vehicle. This is a salvage title situation. If you can convince the insurance company to issue you a check without salvaging the car, that is the preferred way to deal with it. This way you will not have a salvage title and you will have a clear title. Many times they are unwilling to do this. Usually, the only way to convince them is if you can get another estimate from a body shop showing that they can repair most of the damage for an amount less than the value of the vehicle.  I suggest going to a local body shop and telling them what you want to see if they can help. 
     If the insurance company gives you a salvage title, it is very difficult to clear the title up. You must get the damage repaired and then submit it to the state of Georgia for them to say that the car is safe. This is a multi-step process. It is difficult to complete and is a major hassle. Find the requirements at the Georgia DMV website.  The insurance company will also reduce the amount they give you by the salvage value of your car. That is the amount they can sell the car for scrap metal. This is normally several hundred dollars.
     Find out more about property damage claims after an Atlanta or Georgia car accident on our website at www.shanesmithlaw.com

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia