Total Vehicle Loss in Colorado
The odds of getting into a car crash may surprise you. According to data published the Colorado Department of Transportation, during the 10-year period from 2010 to 2019, the number of vehicle crashes in Colorado rose by nearly 23 percent. A total of 121,402 crashes occurred in the state during 2019 alone.
Automobile accidents can be devastating to the vehicles involved. But even minor collisions can be traumatic events. When your car is damaged in a car accident, the resulting financial and personal stress can be devastating. Auto insurance is designed to protect you from the financial stress of repairing or replacing your car, if it is damaged in an accident.
When you buy insurance, you do so with the expectation that if you must make a claim, your insurer will treat you fairly and will pay the claim in conformance with the law. Too often, however, especially when a car is rendered a “total loss,” insurance companies fail to do so. What then?
What happens when your insurance company declares a total loss
If your vehicle is damaged severely in an accident, it may be declared a “total loss” by your insurer. In Colorado, a vehicle is a “total loss” if it is damaged to such an extent that it cannot be rebuilt or repaired to its condition prior to the loss; or the cost of the loss (including, but not limited to, rental expenses, specialized labor and part availability) makes the repairs of the vehicle uneconomical.
The amount of money an insurance policy will pay out is based on state law and the terms of the insurance contract.
If your vehicle is declared a total loss, under Colorado law, your insurance company is required to replace the vehicle or pay you the actual cash value of the vehicle, less any applicable deductible. An insurer is required to develop and maintain written procedures that will be consistently used when determining the value of a vehicle declared a total loss, which must include consideration of unique characteristics of the motor vehicle and a credible source of valuation. An insurer also is required to pay title fees, sales tax, and any other transfer or registration fee associated with the total loss as part of the claim.
When settling total loss claims, some insurance companies can neglect to include certain costs and fees when calculating the settlement payment. These costs and fees include:
- Sales tax
- Title transfer fees
- Vehicle registration fees
- License plate transfer fees
- Other mandatory Colorado fees
You may be entitled to pursue additional compensation from your insurance company if the costs of your claim and fees have not been included in the settlement for your total loss. Where it appears that the insurance company has failed to include these items as a general practice, moreover, a class action lawsuit may be appropriate to recover on your behalf and for all other persons similarly affected. And for that, Anderson + Wanca can help.
Call Anderson + Wanca for Total Loss Vehicle Claims in Colorado
Anderson + Wanca is a boutique class action litigation law firm. Our consumer rights attorneys at Anderson + Wanca have years of experience with class action litigation, including fighting for the rights of insured whose total loss claims have been improperly underpaid. If you believe you have been wronged by an insurance company in connection with your total loss claim, or if you just want to be sure you have been offered a proper settlement, contact our attorneys at Anderson + Wanca. We will review your insurance policy, settlement documents, and the invoice for your replacement vehicle to see if you are being offered a fair settlement and, if not, to determine if there is a potential for a class action claim that our firm could advance on your behalf at no monetary cost to you.
Anderson + Wanca works with licensed attorneys in Colorado and throughout the United States.