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I was in a car wreck and my car is totaled (as claimed by the insurance agent). The sad part is the insurance is not paying up. I dont think my car’s worth justifies lawyer fees so I am planning to sell it to a junkyard. Can any of you please advise on the process? I am in Timonium Maryland.


You need the clear title. Is the car paid off ?
To sell for salvege you need clear title. When selling for salvage, bargain high for the most re-sellable good items on your car. ie; engine, transmission,seats etc.
Still , the insurance should be paying you what little they consider it worth when calculating “total”. If not paid off you’ll use that check to pay down your loan, then you finish paying it off to get clear title.
Next, “total” is relative only to them paying for repairs. With their check in hand for whatever they’re paying, it can still be your choice to repair or not. For example, my two oldest trucks . 79 c10 chevy pickup & 92 explorer, would be considered “totals” at $3000.00 or less but with a repair bill of around 6 - 8 thou I think I’d finish fixing them back up.
They still owe you a check for the “totaled” value , then with a clear title, the rest is up to you.

Then again, it’s probably insurance co policy that if they give you a check for “total”, they keep the carcass ( and savlage it themselves ). If you keep the wrecked car…no check. You savlage or repair ( thinking more as I type).

thanks ken. yes, i own the car. it is completely paid off. does this mean i have clear title?
insurance will not give me an estimate even. i just had liability coverage and estimate is not a part of their service, they said.
so being responsible for the car, i intend to salvage it. i dont think it can be fixed…

Were you at fault (or no fault assessed at the accident scene) in this accident and have no collision or comprehensive coverage? If so, then you are responsible for disposal of the car, if needed. You could also get an estimate to fix it up, if feasible or possible. If it is drivable, get some estimates to repair from a couple of places that provide free auto body estimates. Be up front about the possibility of this being a cash transaction, and the price may get better.

If you can’t pay and fix it, or if it is not economic or technologically possible to repair it to standard, then you need to dispose of it, and you pay.

depending on how much damage was don it could be repairable visit a few body shops some will repair it for what ins paid in nj its called a contract repair

I dont have collision or comprehensive coverage, just liability. I was not at fault, however the other insurance company is making things very difficult. The air bags deployed and I am not sure if I can drive it to any mechanic. I am trying to call up a Junk yard and see if they can give me an estimate. Anyone can recommend a salvage yard in Timonium, MD?
Thanks guys!

Since you don’t have collision insurance, you need to work with the other guy’s insurance company. Yes, they can be slow and drag their feet. You need to be pro-active in getting things resolved; otherwise they may drag on forever.

You cannot dispose of the car until you know what your settlement is, whether you will sign title of the car over to them in exchange for a check, or until the insurance company notifies you that they will fix the car instead. You do not have to accept their first offer, which may be a low ball one.

You need to educate yourself and obtain sample values for your car (, and in the truthful condition it was in, so you can properly evaluate their offer. In the meantime, demand a rental car from them, since you are out of transportation due to the fault of their insured. Start putting all contact with them in writing. These tactics can help push resolution along.

Where is the car right now? Make sure the insurance company has agreed to pay any storage fees while they “piddle” on the settlement. If it is at your home, obviously the insurance company has no economic interest in expediting any settlement.

For me, this is the best argument for collision insurance. For $100 that I get back later, I deal with my insurance company, on my terms, not with a bunch of bozos whose self interest is to go slow. If none of this works, post back for more advice, most of us have been in your situation before and can offer advice from the “school of hard knocks”.

thanks jay. actually it has been a month since the accident. i have tried few times to get the other insurance company to resolve the issue. but the other insurance company said they will not accept any liability and not pay for anything. my insurance says they will not be able to do anything as i just have liability coverage with them. i am not sure what to do and the only thing i could think was to sell of the car to a junk yard…if i get some directions and guidance on what to do, i will restart the process…

It’s time to get a lawyer. If the other’s persons insurance disclaims liability, it sounds like you will need to go to court. Let the lawyer evaluate your probability of success.

It means you have title. The title will never be “clear” again at this point. The insurance company will report the vehicle to the state DMV as “salvaged” or “totalled,” at which point the title will be “branded.” If it is branded as “salvage,” the assumption is that damage is too great to repair. In that case, the next owner would not get a title upon transfer, they would get a salvage certificate.

Here is a good reference source specifically for Maryland:

Here is a good reference source specifically for Maryland:

Was anyone given a ticket by the police? Whose FALT was the accident?

If you just want to dispose of the wrecked car, put an ad on (it’s free) and list it as a parts car. Require that any buyer take the whole thing…