two accidents, few days appart

I was rear ended, my body shop deemed it a total loss, but my insurance is coming Monday to do inspection because the other guy not insured. Today tho, I rear ended someone on freeway. There will be no claim filed for the second accident. Does the damage from the second accident affect the inspection/value of my totaled vehicle, even tho it occurred after the first which totaled the car?

Please if anyone knows about this, please post.

This is definitely a strange situation you’ve gotten yourself into. They will reduce the total loss value of your car based on pre-existing damage, but as far as I know they shouldn’t for a subsequent accident. They might be a little skeptical of your timeline, so as much evidence as you can gather that the damage from the second accident wasn’t there at the time of the first one would be good.

This seems odd, I agree. If it was a total loss, how were you able to drive it? Were your tail and brake lights working?
What GreasyJack said, most likely. Hopefully your body shop wrote up some sort of account of the damage, so there’s a record.

Since this thread is most likely to garner opinions, let’s move from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, moderator

So you’re driving a car that is probably totaled & hasn’t had any repairs made at all?

Also, you were in a second accident where you rear-ended someone (meaning you were at fault) & you’re not letting your insurance company know about it?

Well, a similar thing happened to me. I was rear-ended stopped at a red light, and pretty badly damaged. A car hit mine, and another hit him into me again. I continued to drive the poor battered thing while waiting for insurances to settle, and was rear-ended 4 days later while, yes, stopped at a red light, when a drunk shoved the car behind me into me.

Turned out the insurance of the 2nd driver in the first accident paid. My car was ruled totaled at that time. Mr. Drunk LeavingTheSceneBastard paid nothing toward me since my car was already totaled. ( I asked if I could waive the first guy and sue the drunk, but no.) A policeman told me it is like a man who shoots someone who someone else already killed won’t face murder charges. <?>

To insurance people ‘totaled’=damage repair exceeds car’s worth. It does not mean ‘can’t be driven.’

However wasn’t my fault anytime. I think you need to come clean with your insurance people.

“There will be no claim filed for the second accident” Pretty sure OP means not filing a COLLISION claim for damage to the OP’s car, as opposed to just not letting them know about the accident.

Short answer to the OP: No, it doesn’t matter.

Long answer: if your car is deemed a total loss, you are owed the car’s market value–what it was worth immediately before the collision. That amount doesn’t change even if Godzilla stomps on it 15 minutes later.

Even better: you are also owed for the damage caused to your totaled car in the second accident. Unless you tell us otherwise, your policy explains what is owed under Collision Coverage with language to the effect of: you get the lesser of a) the cost to repair the damage, or b) the market value of the car. What your policy DOES NOT say is “the market value of the car, less damage we already paid for.”


  • 1992 Volkswagen Golf: Market Value $2,000
  • Ouchie! $3,000 damage to rear bumper and right quarter panel. The car is a total loss.
  • But the car is still drivable and you want to keep it. You settle the total loss claim for $1,750 and keep the car.
  • So, what is the value of an otherwise perfectly servicable 1992 Volkswagen Golf with a damaged bumper and quarter panel? Maybe $1,250.
  • Ouchie! another collision, this one was a doozie and the front end is torn off.
  • You get another total loss claim for the market value of the car: $1,250

A totaled car doesn’t mean that the car is inoperable. It means that the costs of repairing the vehicle are greater than the current pre-accident market value of the vehicle. In those cases the insurance company normally will pay your the current pre-accident market value of your car in which they will take possession of the car, or if you decide to keep it they will pay you the market value of your car pre-accident less the salvage value of your car. If you keep it you will be required to have your car retitled with your state with a salvage title. There are many cars that are “totaled” by insurance companies that are drivable and will pass operating inspections.