Suppose I was driving a totaled car and hit by someone, damaging one side mirror. The mirror was in good condition before this accident, although the car was totaled.

Can I file a claim against his insurance company to fix the mirror (assuming him at fault)? Does the mirror itself still have financial value, legally?

  • Why would he not have to pay for the mirror? – Putvi Jun 8 '19 at 19:06
  • @Putvi He would argue that the car worth nothing, so there's no financial loss? – Ryan Jun 8 '19 at 20:36
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    @Nij If the damage to a car would cost more to repair than the market value of the car it will be declared "totaled". This may well not mean it is undrivable. It may later be sold and refurbished and registered and insured, as a damaged used car. A totaled car normally becomes the property of the insurer, and has a value, whether derivable or not. – David Siegel Jun 9 '19 at 16:19
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    "Totaled" is not a declarative statement by any authority, just a descriptive one about the extent of damage viz. the vehicle is totally damaged. Being written off is the declarative statement that the repairs are uneconomical, and has to be accompanied by deregistering the vehicle, making it illegal to drive, regardless of whether it's physically functional. – Nij Jun 9 '19 at 19:28
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    @Nij Neither of those are proper terms. A vehicle where repairs are feasible but exceed value is a constructive total loss. A vehicle where repairs are clearly infeasible is an actual total loss. A vehicle which was a total loss but repaired is a vehicle with a rebuilt title, which is what I think the OP is talking about. – user71659 Jun 10 '19 at 1:07

The at fault driver is liable for the damage

To avoid the complication that a written-off vehicle normally is not drivable and becomes the property of the insurer, let’s assume that it is legally parked in on the owner’s premises and an at fault driver strikes and destroys the mirror (or any other part) - they are liable for the damage done. The scrap value of the mirror.

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