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total loss twice over

by John Dilworth
(Morganton, NC)

I had a fender bender two years ago and I had to fight to get $850 for the repairs. They made me sign a paper saying the car was a total loss and that I was buying back the car as salvage.

It was a fender not the whole car. Later my new registration comes with "total loss claim" stamped on it. Three weeks ago I got rear-ended with about the same amount of damage. I had it repaired by a friend.

The insurance company is beating me with the total loss from before and refusing to come of the $850 offer for repairs. Is there anything I can do to undue the first "total loss"?

Do I have to settle for what they will give me? The car is very reliable, it has no damage and it looks good. I really want to go to small claims court, but is the judge going to beat me over the head with this previous "total loss"?


Hello John,

Well, I can’t tell you what a judge will do or not do. A prior total lossdoes make things messy.

If you car was previously salvaged, then you basically have a scraps. This is the insurance company argument anyway. You can show that this is not just "scraps" as the car was repaired to it’s prior condition and that is what you have before the impact.

It’s a debatable issue and you may be able to argue it correctly. See our section on Small Claims more for more about that process.

Good Luck
Auto Claim Advice

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