What to do if you’ve TOTALED Your Car?

You’ve just been in an accident and your car sustained a lot of damage. How do you know if it is totaled? If you’ve totaled your car, can you keep it and fix it? What will the insurance company give you for your totaled car?

According to insurers, the number of vehicles which are considered a total loss following an auto accident is steadily rising. In 2000, about 9 percent of all insured vehicles were considered totaled following an accident, but by 2012, 14 percent of all insured vehicles were considered totaled following an accident. That percentage has likely continued to rise, due to the fact that, as a whole, the cars on today’s highways are either new, or old, with fewer vehicles in the mid-range category. An older car may be considered a classic, if old enough, or could just be considered old. Since the “average” cost to repair a vehicle following an accident is around $3,000, that repair number might come very close to the actual cash value of an older vehicle, meaning the older vehicle is much more likely to be totaled than a newer vehicle.

Typically, cars are considered “totaled” when their damage exceeds 65% or 70% of the vehicle’s total market value – unless you live in Colorado. In Colorado, a vehicle is not considered totaled unless the damage exceeds 100% of the car’s worth.

Further Reading: Slip and Fall Accident – The Homeowner’s Responsibilities

Can I Keep My Totaled Car?

If you happen to be particularly sentimental about your vehicle, or you want to use it for spare parts, you may be able to keep it. Let your insurance company know you would like to keep the vehicle, and they may pay you the actual cash value of your vehicle, less your deductible and a fair salvage amount.

  • After your vehicle is totaled and you have settled with the insurance company, you can exchange your car’s title for a salvage certificate, through the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • You may decide to sell your totaled vehicle to a salvage yard for parts, or, a used car dealer may purchase a totaled vehicle, repair it, then resell to the public.
  • You can rebuild your own vehicle, then obtain a revived salvage title and re-register the vehicle with the DMV, however before a revived salvage vehicle can be driven, you must have it inspected through the DMV.
  • If your vehicle originally came with airbags, then you will need to have the airbags reinstalled.

Contact Our Pueblo Car Accident Attorneys

Pueblo, CO personal injury attorney Mickey W. SmithIf you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident or has questions about your legal rights after a car accident, it is important to contact an experienced Pueblo car accident lawyer immediately. Call Pueblo attorneys at Smith & Smith today for a FREE CONSULTATION(719) 544-0062.