What to Do If Your Car is Totaled After an Accident
After a car accident, you take your vehicle to the body shop for repairs. The body shop sends an estimate of repairs to the insurance company. Then, you get word that the insurance company is totaling your vehicle.
What does it mean for an insurance company to total a vehicle? What options do you have? Here’s what you need to know from our car accident lawyers.
What to Do If Your Car is Totaled After an Accident?
If your car is totaled after an accident, you evaluate your insurance coverage. Depending on the type of insurance you have and who is at fault for the accident, the insurance company pays you for the value of the vehicle minus your deductible.
You should evaluate the payment to ensure that the insurance company is offering you fair pay for the vehicle. It’s also vital to assess car accident laws in your state to see if you should bring a claim for compensation against the party responsible for the accident.
When Is a Car Considered Totaled in Colorado?
Under Colorado law, a car is considered totaled when the cost of repairing the vehicle to a roadworthy condition is more than the total value of the vehicle. Most insurance companies declare a car totaled when it’s going to cost more than 65 percent of the value of the car to fix it.
For example, if the current, market value of the car is $10,000, and repairs would cost $6,500 or more, the car is considered totaled. Your insurance company may use a slightly higher or lower standard to determine whether a vehicle is considered totaled.
Colorado Car Accidents and Totaled Vehicle
When the insurance company declares your car totaled, they decide that your car isn’t worth the cost of fixing it. In other words, there’s so much damage to the vehicle that the insurer doesn’t think that it’s worth the time and money to fix it. Instead, they want to pay you for the value of the vehicle and go your separate ways.
For the insurance company to pay you for the value of your totaled vehicle, you must have insurance that covers that kind of damage. Collision and comprehensive are two types of insurance coverage that may apply to pay you for your totaled vehicle. Your car insurance policy is unique to you. You need to carefully review it to see if your policy covers the circumstances of your accident. If it does provide coverage, you need to see that the insurance company is paying you fairly for the value of the vehicle.
What Will the Insurance Company Pay Me for My Totaled Vehicle?
The insurance company will pay you the current, actual market value for your vehicle. It’s not the price that you paid when you bought the vehicle. It’s not even the cost to replace your vehicle. Instead, the insurance company pays you for the actual value of the car at the time that the accident occurs. The insurance company reduces your payment by the amount of the deductible. For example, if your vehicle is worth $5,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible, the insurance company will pay you $4,000.
How to Determine the Value of a Totaled Vehicle
To determine the value of a totaled vehicle, look at sale prices for similar vehicles. Take into account the age of the vehicle and existing damage or mechanical issues from before the accident. Although the insurance company should offer you a fair price for the vehicle, it’s essential to do your own research to ensure that you’re getting fair treatment. If you don’t agree with the valuation, you have the right to challenge it.
Can I Keep My Vehicle If the Insurance Company Totals It?
Yes, you can keep your vehicle if the insurance company totals it. However, even a totaled vehicle has some value. The insurance company might reduce your payment by the amount that they can get for a scrapped vehicle. In some cases, it may make sense to keep a totaled car.
But keep in mind that keeping the vehicle will likely reduce your insurance payment. It’s also important to keep in mind that certain circumstances, like accidents in a company car, or a leased vehicle accident, may impact your ability to keep the vehicle.
Can You Legally Drive a Totaled Car in Colorado?
Yes, you can legally drive a totaled car in Colorado. However, any vehicle that you place on the road must be in good working condition. Colorado law requires you to complete all necessary repairs and get a Rebuilt Title Established by Salvage certificate for the vehicle.
What Happens When a Car Is Written Off?
When a car is written off, you don’t have the car repaired. Instead, it’s converted to scrap metal. The insurance company pays you for the value of the vehicle up to the maximum value of your insurance policy. You may use the money to buy a new vehicle or for any other purpose.
Totaled vehicle lawsuits in Colorado
Keep in mind that Colorado is an at-fault state. The driver who is responsible for the accident should pay the victim for their losses. The losses may include the value of a totaled vehicle as well as any injuries from the car accident.
The responsible driver must pay the victim directly or through their insurance policy. Even if you have insurance that pays for your totaled vehicle, don’t forget about your rights under Colorado law. Bringing a claim within Colorado’s statute of limitations against the responsible party may be the best way for you to recover what you deserve under Colorado laws.
Attorneys for Totaled Vehicle Accidents in Denver
Have you been in an accident? Do you have questions about whether your vehicle is totaled? Are you wondering if the insurance company is treating you fairly? Contact our Denver accident attorneys for a complimentary consultation about your claim.
We know how to get results. We’ve helped thousands of deserving clients just like you. Justice is our passion. Let us show you how we can help you get justice when you’re the victim of a car accident in Denver.
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No upfront fees, no risk, and no cost to you or your family