Many car accidents cause substantial damage to vehicles, leaving the owners wondering whether getting the vehicle fixed is even an option. If your car was severely damaged, New York’s salvage vehicle law may apply.

Do you have questions about how New York’s salvage laws may apply to your car accident case? Contact Seitelman Law Offices, P.C. to get answers about your case.

New York Salvage Vehicle Law

The state’s law requires that the damaged car be inspected by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Depending on the results of the inspection, the DMV may then issue the owner a salvage title.

A vehicle is considered a salvage vehicle if any of the following conditions are met:

  • The cost to repair the vehicle exceeds 75% of the car’s pre-damage value
  • The certificate of title states the car is a “wreck” vehicle
  • The vehicle was transferred through a New York Salvage Certificate due to significant damage
  • A salvage title was issued in another state then brought to New York

Prior to having a new title or registration issued, a car that meets the above criteria must be inspected by the New York DMV. The inspection is required by the New York State Auto Theft Prevention Program and is intended to locate stolen items, protect consumers, and prevent theft. The DMV will not issue a new certificate for a vehicle with a Salvage Certificate noting any of the following:

  • Non-repairable
  • Destroyed
  • Non-rebuildable
  • Parts only
  • Scrapped

What is a Salvage Title for a Car?

New York considers your car to be salvaged if it was made after 1972 and transferred to an insurer with a Salvage Certificate or declared a “wreck.” A salvage title or salvage certificate, officially known in New York as form MV-907A, is used as proof of ownership that can be used to obtain a vehicle title. Branded salvage titles are issued by the DMV and used for vehicles that are newer than nine years old and have damage that equals at least 75% of the pre-damage retail value. If the DMV requires your vehicle is branded as salvaged, you must denote that on the title certificate in order to certify the damage. Failure to do so can lead to fines and other penalties.

Do I Need a Salvage Inspection in New York?

If your vehicle is salvaged and rebuilt for roadway use, the New York DMV requires an inspection according to the New York State Auto Theft Prevention Program. Any vehicle that has an MV-907A, also known as a New York Salvage Certificate, requires an inspection. The salvage vehicle examination does not inspect vehicles for safety, insurance, or emissions; its purpose is to inspect vehicles for stolen parts.

Car Accidents and Salvage Vehicles

If your car or truck has significant damage from a motor vehicle accident, you should be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurer will decide if your vehicle can be repaired. It is likely that your car will be considered a total loss if the damage equals more than 75% of the vehicle’s value. This would mean that your vehicle is considered a salvage vehicle and would be subject to New York’s salvage vehicle law.

Property damage is one of the many types of losses that a personal injury claim or lawsuit can help you recover compensation for. Your health and medical recovery understandably take priority after a car accident, but the financial loss takes a toll, as well. When you cannot use your car due to the extensive damage, lack of transportation creates substantial hurdles in your path to recovery. Depending on your health and abilities, you will need your vehicle to go to doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, pharmacies, counseling sessions, and the grocery store. So, access to reliable transportation contributes to your ability to heal both physically and mentally.

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer injured accident victims lower settlement amounts than what is necessary and just. Valuing your accident claim is a complex process, and numerous factors should be considered before settling on an amount. For example, your current medical bills are relevant, but so are your future healthcare expenses. Lost income due to the accident is important, as is loss of earning potential. A car accident attorney can help you get a clear picture of what your accident claim is worth, from the cost of your physical injuries and emotional trauma to the expenses associated with your property damage.

The insurance company is not on your side after an accident. They are for-profit companies that are focused on their bottom line. You need an advocate who will fight for your best interests.

Do you still have questions about salvage vehicle titles or accidents that often lead to them? When you’re ready to seek the fair compensation you deserve for your damages and losses, contact a New York car accident attorney with extensive experience fighting for injured clients and their families. At Seitelman Law Offices, P.C., we are happy to answer any questions you may have about your car accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.