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Safety Rule of 75 Percent Protects Consumers

September 10, 2013

We recently concluded a trial where we discovered that the insurance company was manipulating the actual cash value of the vehicle to keep from “totaling” a van. In North Carolina there is a safety rule that states if a vehicle is damaged where the repairs are going to cost 75 percent of the actual cash value of the vehicle before the wreck, the vehicle must be totaled. The reason for this safety rule is to protect the consumer. If you decide you want to keep your “totaled” vehicle, you know it was totaled and may have some structural integrity problems that could affect its safety. However, if you sold the vehicle and the damage was structural, the buyer may not know of the extent of the damage unless the title was branded. A branded title tells the next buyer that the vehicle had been totaled.

In order to avoid totaling the vehicle, the insurance company increased the actual cash value it used so that the repairs would not reach the 75 percent threshold. It saves the insurance company money to not total a vehicle.

If you are in a collision, immediately check the NADA value for your area to determine the retail value of your vehicle. You should also contact the insurance company and ask them to disclose the actual cash value they are using when they are calculating the 75 percent safety rule. Inform the insurance adjuster that you want him/her to disclose any changes the actual cash value being used to determine total loss.

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“We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did.” 

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