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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 19627
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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In CAlif. my car was re-ended. The other driver was arrested

Customer Question

In CAlif. my car was re-ended. The other driver was arrested on scene for a number of violations (DUI etc.). Her insurance company paid the initial repair bill for my vehicle, but upon submission of a subsequent repair bill, declared my vehicle totalled
and reported to Ca. DMV that put a salvage title on my car. All of this was done without telling me. The tital cost of repairs was less than 50% the blue book value of my car. Is the insurance company's actions legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.

No, it is not. Although the insurance company can report the car as a total loss to DMV, but that is after it has paid for the loss to you and you have reached a settlement. See California Vehicle Code Section 544.

http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/vehicle-code/veh-sect-544.html