"total loss" vehicles
In my opinion, there are two types of "total loss" vehicles: the type where the car is really totaled, and should be taken to a junk yard and the good parts removed for resale; then there is what I call the "technical" total loss, where the cost of repair is more than the book value, so the insurance company does not want to risk starting a repair, only to find out (via supplement inspection as more damage is discovered) that the repairs will cost much more. If the frame was not affected and the car rides true straight, a "technical" total loss can be bargain if you want to pursue the repairs. Watch for expensive items such as airbag repairs.
If the frame was affected, I would not touch a vehicle that was rendered a total loss, as you will probably have impossible alignment issues, excessive fuel burn, tire and suspension wear. If the frame and drivetrain are ok, then you'll probably be ok. If you are buying it to just drive locally (a few miles at a time), you might be fine with a slight frame misalignment. If you are going to drive highways, you'll want the car to ride true straight.
Also, I would never touch a flood vehicle, due to the water submersion initiating premature corrosion on electronic components located below the water level. All electric features might work, but you might not experience their full expected lifespan.
Some states will require a title to reflect "reconstructed" for 2 - 3 years after it was repaired, to protect the unknowing consumer who might not purchase a Carfax report.
You can also get the VIN and call any dealer and ask them to check their computer, and they will [usually] tell you what it shows.