What If My Car is Totaled After an Accident in Colorado?

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are facing the possibility of your vehicle being deemed a total loss, also known as totaled. Car accidents are fairly common in Colorado and even minor collisions can be traumatic and cause substantial damage to your vehicle.

What If My Car is Totaled After an Accident in Colorado

When Is A Car Considered A Total Loss?

Your car will be considered to be totaled when it is damaged to the point that it would cost more to fix it than it is worth. In other words, the cost of repair exceeds the value of the car. For example, if your car is worth $12,000 at the time of the accident, but the cost of repairs after the accident would cost $15,000, your car is totaled. When this happens, there is no repair process to go through. 

My Car Was Deemed A Total Loss, What Should I Do Now?

If your vehicle is totaled, under Colorado law, your insurance provider is required to do one of two things; replace your vehicle or pay you the actual case value of your vehicle, minus any applicable deductibles outlined in your policy. At this point, your insurance company will offer you a settlement amount, based on their assessment of your vehicle’s value. You will need to respond to their offer, you may either accept their offer or submit a counteroffer. 

If you are submitting a counteroffer, consider the following elements:

  • Your vehicle’s retail value (you can find that by using the Kelley Blue Book)
  • Comparable vehicles in the area from public sellers with similar mileage and features
  • The specific features of your vehicle
  • Any improvements or upgrades you recently made to your car (it is important to note that some policies will not cover this)

It may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced car accident attorney for help submitting a counteroffer. An attorney will know how insurance companies operate, and how to craft a compelling counteroffer to get you the most possible compensation to replace your vehicle. 

What Happens To My Totaled Vehicle?

Most vehicles that are considered total losses are scrapped. This means that usable parts are taken and the rest of the car gets crushed. In some cases, vehicles can be repaired and driven again after passing a state-certified inspection. 

If My Vehicle Will Be Scrapped, Can I Keep It?

If you decide to keep your total loss vehicle, you must make it roadworthy before you can drive it on the roads again. This is called a salvaged vehicle. It is important to note that there are strict rules in Colorado for titles of salvaged vehicles and that insurance coverage is much more limited for salvage titles than it is for other vehicles. Often, insurance companies will only provide property damage liability coverage for salvage title vehicles. 

If your car has been totaled in an accident, contact a Colorado car accident attorney to learn more about your options.

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