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How Do I Determine if My Vehicle Is Totaled After a Car Accident?

Posted on in Car Accident

Larimer County auto accident attorney

If you have been in a car accident there are a variety of steps you should take to protect yourself in the immediate aftermath. You must first seek emergency medical attention if necessary, then report the accident and exchange insurance information with the other driver. You may be wondering what to do next if your vehicle is significantly damaged. The window of time after an accident can be stressful, but taking the right steps during this time can ensure that you are properly compensated for property damage, as well as any injuries you suffered in the collision. By receiving legal assistance from a personal injury attorney, you can be sure that you will be properly compensated for all of your damages.

What Are Colorado’s Total Loss Laws?

“Totaling” or “totaled” are words that often get used as slang for vehicles that are not functional or are undrivable, but drivers may not understand what these terms actually mean. To "total" a car means to declare it a total loss, which dictates how you and your auto insurance provider will move forward. A car does not have to be a complete wreck to be totaled. Instead, the cost of repairs must exceed a certain threshold, which may differ from state to state. In Colorado, that threshold is 100 percent. That is, Colorado legally requires insurers to declare a vehicle a total loss if the estimated repair costs would exceed the market value of that vehicle.  

What Happens When My Car Is Totaled?

If an insurance company allows you to declare your vehicle a total loss, or if the estimated repair costs exceed 100 percent of its value, the insurer will typically be required to pay the current market value of that vehicle. Even though you may have spent $10,000 on your car, if it is worth $8,000 now, that is what you will receive. This payment may be used to finish paying off the loan on the car, or it may be used to put a down payment on a new vehicle. Typically, if you are still paying off a loan, your insurance company will notify your lender and include them on the reimbursement check, allowing you to easily pay the remaining balance of the loan.

While damage to a vehicle is an unfortunate loss, if you or one of your passengers were injured in a car accident, it is important to get any necessary medical treatment right away. When making an insurance claim, you will likely be able to receive coverage for your medical expenses under the policy of the driver at fault for the accident or under your own insurance policy. A serious injury can have life-altering consequences, and your actual damages may be much higher than the costs of your initial medical treatment. To ensure that you are fully compensated for your personal injuries, damage to your vehicle, and any other physical, emotional, or financial harm you have suffered, you should work with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the full extent of your damages, speak to insurance companies on your behalf to negotiate a settlement, and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Fort Collins Car Accident Attorney

Being involved in an automobile crash is not easy, but if you are represented by a Larimer County personal injury lawyer, you stand a better chance at receiving the compensation you need and deserve. The experienced legal team at Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. can assist you with making a personal injury claim, and we will work to ensure you are fully and fairly compensated for your damages. Call us today at 970-225-2190 to request a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://leg.colorado.gov/content/automobile-insurance

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/DriverHandbook.pdf

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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