Atlanta Suicide in a Vehicle: What Do We Do with the Car?

Experiencing the death of a loved one by suicide is a terrible experience to endure. Being the one responsible for cleaning up after it is harder still. The aftermath can be overwhelming when going through shock and grief. When there are biohazards involved, it can be even more unbearable.

Atlanta suicide often takes place in an automobile. Once the police have filed their report and the coroner has taken the body away, the family is left to take care of the vehicular damages left behind. What do you do?

Can’t I have an auto detail shop in Atlanta clean the car?

In order to thoroughly clean the car and bring it back to a usable state, the suicide cleanup needs to begin as quickly as possible. It is tempting, therefore, to simply bring the car to an auto detail shop and let them do the job. This puts all the staff there in serious jeopardy. However, with all the blood and body fluids carrying blood-borne pathogens and bacteria. An Atlanta auto-detailing shop will also not be trained on how to clean and dispose of medical waste. Nor do they have the skills to take apart the car in order to clean every nook and cranny.

Will auto insurance pay for the suicide cleanup?

Most auto insurance companies will pay for suicide cleanup of your car. With no money upfront, a professionally trained and experienced biohazard cleanup team will remove and properly dispose of all infected porous surfaces such as leather, fabric, and carpet. These materials cannot be completely cleaned and have to be replaced. Other non-porous surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized.

If the biohazard remediation company’s quote comes in close to what the car is worth (taking age and condition into account), the auto insurance company may decide to total the car. In that case, they will either pay you the money to replace the car (minus the deductible) or let you keep the car with a salvage title. It is then your responsibility to have it cleaned and then choose whether to keep or sell the car.

Where in Atlanta can I sell the car?

If you choose to sell the car in Atlanta, you can sell it to a private party, turn it in as a trade-in, or sell it to an auction house. There is no law in Georgia requiring you to disclose a person has died in a used vehicle. However, if you are asked questions and you deceive the buyer, you could be held liable for their related health issues down the road if the car wasn’t properly cleaned. (Consult a lawyer for advice.)

Would an auction house in Atlanta really take the vehicle?

Auction houses in the Atlanta area sell cars as-is in all sorts of conditions. It’s up to the winning bid to decide what to do with the vehicle. As a seller, you can either sell it directly to the auction house to sell it to someone else or you can sell it through them on consignment and give them a commission once it’s sold. Either way, once it’s signed over to them, it’s off your hands. Two such auction houses in the Atlanta, Georgia area are:

Georgia Auto Auctions
IAA Auctions

Though dealing with the aftermath of a suicide is immensely difficult, dealing with the aftermath of where it took place doesn’t have to be. Georgia Clean is a professional suicide cleanup company that provides suicide cleanup and vehicle recovery services in the Atlanta area. Call us if we can be of help at (770) 766-4562