What About My Car?!
Almost every auto accident involves two parts: property damage and bodily injury. Today, we'll discuss the property damage portion of an auto accident claim.
If you hire our firm to represent you for your auto accident claim, the attorneys at Cave Law help you navigate and resolve your property damage, free of charge. We provide this service to our clients because it's the right thing to do.
The information below is provided as a general guide. Your situation (and how your insurance company proceeds) may be different.
If the accident was entirely someone else’s fault, you’re entitled to payment for any damage done to your car; this also includes payment for personal belongings and property that were in your car at the time of the accident.
Examples of personal property: electronic devices, clothing, eye wear, sports equipment or other items in the vehicle at the time of the accident that were damaged or destroyed. Items that may have been lost or stolen from your car are not covered.
How am I paid for damages?
1. Liability Coverage under the At-Fault Driver's Insurance:
If the other person’s insurance company accepts fault for the accident, they will normally pay an industry standard amount to have your car repaired. Unfortunately, insurance companies often take days or weeks to decide whether to accept fault in the accident. Therefore, your car may not be repaired in a timely manner. The attorneys at Cave Law can sometimes help speed this process along.
2. Collision Coverage through Your Own Auto Insurance:
Using the collision coverage through your own auto insurance is sometimes the fastest and easiest way to get your car repaired. Your car repairs will be paid out from your own insurance policy regardless of who is at fault in the accident; you pay any deductible up front, which will be returned to you if your insurance company is repaid by the at-fault driver's insurance company.
You may also be responsible for any rental car fees during the time your car is being repaired if you do not have rental reimbursement coverage under your own policy.
3. Uninsured Motorist Coverage under Your Insurance –If the person who caused the accident does not have an auto insurance policy or is not able to be found or identified (i.e., hit and run), you are protected under your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage
. Depending on the type of accident, you may be responsible for paying a deductible.
How do I get my car repaired?
Once it's determined which insurance company will pay for the damages, we then need to figure out how and where your car will be repaired. At this stage, you'll have lots of communications with the insurance company. This is where it pays to hire us - we can handle all of the communication so you don't have to!
1. If your car is drivable:
Contact the other driver’s insurance company to ask for an estimate of the cost of repairing your car. An insurance adjuster may schedule a time to inspect your car or you may be asked to take your car to the insurance company’s location. After you get an estimate from the insurance company, take your car to a body shop of your choice for a second estimate.
If the body shop estimates your car cannot be repaired for the amount estimated by the insurance company, ask the manager of the body shop to call the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance company will likely issue a check to the body shop to pay for the repair to your car.
Some insurance companies do not have local adjusters and will ask you to get 2-3 estimates. They will then want to issue a check for the lowest estimate.
2. If your car is not driveable:
Your car will be towed from the scene to either the police impound lot or an insurance impound lot. If your car is towed to police impound, the insurance company will need your permission to move it to one of their lots.
The insurance company will then assign an adjuster to estimate the damage to your car. If your car has been towed to a repair shop or salvage yard, it is very important to have your car moved as quickly as possible to the body shop of your choice. Most of these locations charge a daily storage fee that you may be responsible for paying.
3. What if my car is “Totaled”?:
A car that costs more to repair than it was worth before the accident is considered a total loss. The insurance company will compare the amount your car could have been sold for before the accident (fair market value) to the estimated cost of repairing your car (plus rental charges and salvage value) and pay you whichever amount is less. The fair market value of your car is determined by the current price for a car similar to yours as listed by area car dealerships, newspapers, car value books and websites. Keep in mind that fair market value is negotiable.
If your car is declared a total loss, you have two options:
a. Accept the total loss value of your car minus the salvage value. You keep your car.
b. Accept the total loss value of your car plus the salvage value. To do so, you’ll be required to sign your car title over to the insurance company. You may also be asked to sign a power of attorney so the insurance company can dispose of your car.
While your car is being repaired or you are waiting on payment for a car that is a total loss, you may want to rent a car. The insurance company will reimburse you if
- the rental is comparable to your car,
- rented at a reasonable price,
- for a reasonable amount of time,.
Oftentimes, once an insurance company has made an offer to either repair your car and declare it a total loss, they'll give you a set time frame to respond. Once that time expires, the insurance company will likely stop paying for a rental.
Can We Help?
If you have questions, we have answers. Call us for a free consultation at 720-213-3737 or fill out a contact form to have us call you.
April 25, 2017
Utah court rules on ‘worst ever’ Yelp review
The ruling centers around a Yelp review posted by Stephen Glover in 2015. Upset over his representation in a divorce case by attorney Terry Spencer, Glover posted a review that began with “Worst ever,” and proceeded to criticize Spencer...
FRESH, NEW CLIENT TESTIMONIAL!!
Have a listen to the latest client testimonial, fresh from the recording studio! My clients are the best!
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February 3, 2017
Think the insurance companies are looking out for your best interests? Maybe when pigs fly...
Cave Law - "Putting the Personal Back In Personal Injury"
February 2, 2017
3 questions to ask before hiring a personal injury attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney, or even considering it, may leave you feeling confused, overwhelmed, or possibly suspicious. After all, there are dozens of attorneys advertising their services for victims of auto accidents - how do you choose? This article will provide three questions for you to consider when hiring (or choosing to hire) an attorney for your personal injury case:
1. Is your attorney qualified? A somewhat rhetorical or obvious question, but ask it anyway. Find out how many personal injury cases your attorney has handled. Ask how many personal injury jury trials they've been involved in as a plaintiff's attorney. How many years have they practiced law? Some personal injury cases can be complex, so less experience may equate to less practical knowledge of prosecuting a personal injury case. Does this attorney have some basic knowledge of handling a personal injury claim, i.e. the statute of limitations for an auto accident claim in Colorado? The more information you can get from the attorney, the more confident you'll feel in hiring this individual.
2. Will you get along with this attorney? I realize the answer to this question might require a crystal ball, but go with your instinct here. Ask yourself: does this attorney have my best interests in mind? Alternatively, is this attorney looking at your case as a way to enrich themselves? Is this attorney someone who genuinely cares about your case, your situation, the effects of the incident on your lifestyle? At the most basic level, attorneys are problem solvers - will this attorney help you solve the problems associated with your personal injury case? Is this attorney someone who is the right fit for your personality? Personal injury cases can sometimes take months to years to resolve. That's a long time to work with someone. Better to know now that it's a good fit.
3. How does the attorney get paid? The vast majority of personal injury cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning the attorney only gets paid if he/she is able to collect an amount for you; the attorney is then paid a percentage of the amount collected for you (that's why it's called 'contingent'). Remember this: in a personal injury case, no attorney that I'm aware of can heal your broken arm, or remove the scars, or heal your injured body (let me know if you find one). Instead, an attorney collects money for you to compensate you for your injuries. Bottom line, your case will have a monetary value, whether obtained through a settlement or assigned by a jury. Be sure you understand how your attorney will be compensated, and also ask how costs in the case will be paid.
The more you arm yourself with knowledge about the attorney-client relationship in a personal injury case, the more confident you'll feel that you made the right choice. It's your case, the attorney's job is to represent you.
At Cave Law, I offer free consultations to discuss these three questions and more. Call us at 720-213-3737.
Cave Law - "Putting the Personal Back in Personal Injury"
New! Client testimonial 02/02/2017
I take great pride in serving my clients, and really appreciate when they express their gratitude for solid representation. Listen to Mr. Stone's testimonial about his experience with my firm in his personal injury auto accident case!
Download this audio file
December 5, 2016
TIPS TO AVOID WINTER CAR ACCIDENTS!
Below are some safety tips to consider when driving
in the snow:
any kind of distractions while driving.
Cell phones, radio dials and even other passengers in your car can all hinder your attention to the road. When driving in extreme conditions, staying focused and alert at all times is critical, and this attentiveness will allow you to react quickly and efficiently when necessary. It is easy to become distracted by even the slightest of things, and sometimes you aren’t aware of it. Answering a text message or changing the radio station should be the least of your worries when driving in the snow. Remember that your safety and the safety of those around you comes first and foremost.
- Ninety-eight percent of national survey respondents know distracted driving is dangerous; nearly 75 percent admit to having done it. —Center for Internet and Technology Addiction
data indicates that in 2015, cellphones were a contributing factor in 17 fatal
driving fatalities are increasing in Colorado.
- In 2015, 68 (13 percent) of the 546 Colorado traffic fatalities were caused by distracted driving.
- In 2014, 59 (12
percent) of the 488 Colorado traffic fatalities were caused by distracted
driving is a problem across all age groups.
- CDOT found that 37.4 percent of
Colorado distracted driving crashes between 2012-2014 involved people between
the ages of 21 and 34.
slowly and try to avoid braking abruptly.
Take it slow and go easy! Abrupt movements of any kind cause a quick
transference of weight, and can have more damaging effects than slow, easy movements.
You can minimize skidding by braking lightly and by using on-and-off motions
when coming to a stop. For manual cars, try to avoid abrupt downshifts, as this
can cause the wheels to skid. Attempting to power up hills can also have
negative effects, because applying extra gas on snow-covered roads may cause
your wheels to start spinning.
your tires properly inflated.
The air in your tires expands when heated, and contracts when cooled, meaning during colder weather, it’s common for your tire pressure to decrease, posing a threat to your winter driving. Check the pressure throughout the cold winter months to maintain strong, healthy tires. When properly inflated, your tires are able to perform at their best, and will provide better handling, dependable traction and a more comfortable ride.
your following distance from the car in front of you.
It’s important to leave a substantial amount of space between you and the car in front of you.
If you are the one who’s being tailgated too closely by the car behind you, change lanes to avoid the potential danger of this driver. Relax your driving, avoid rushing and give others their space.
use cruise control in winter conditions.
During the winter months, attempt to make a
conscious effort to ensure that you are not using it when driving in snow, ice
or hail. If your car skids while cruise control is activated, it may continue
to accelerate and rapidly spin the wheels in an attempt to maintain the
selected constant speed. This is extremely dangerous and can make it more
likely for you to lose control of your car.
At Cave Law, I know that regardless of how cautious you are when driving during winter conditions, sometimes accidents are inevitable through no fault of your own. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto, truck or motorcycle accident this season, I am here to help. I handle multiple cases each winter and will assist you in getting back to health and receiving the compensation you deserve. Don’t settle for anything less. Call me for your 100% free consultation.
Cave Law – “Putting the Personal Back In Personal Injury”
As heard on Kelly and Kafer 710 KNUS!
Hear attorney Jeremy Cave discuss driving in winter conditions, and tips on how to avoid accidents!
Download this audio file
November 9, 2016
2 insurance premiums mean 2 separate payouts, Colorado Supreme Court says (Calderon v. American Family), and why that's important to you
Mr. Calderon was injured in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist. Like many of my clients, sometime prior to the incident Mr. Calderon purchased two policies of insurance - uninsured/underinsured (um/uim) motorist coverage and medical payments (MedPay) coverage. Following the accident, the MedPay coverage was used to pay Mr. Calderon's medical providers. Mr. Calderon made a claim for his um/uim coverage, and after getting nowhere with his insurance company, Mr. Calderon filed a lawsuit. The jury returned a verdict in his favor but the trial court reduced his award by $5000 as a set off for the medpay coverage. In other words, the trial court said Mr. Calderon received the benefit of his paid-for medpay coverage ($5000) and he therefore wasn't entitled to keep that as part of the jury's award. The Colorado Supreme Court disagreed. In short, the Court said the amount of um/uim coverage cannot be reduced in a particular case by a setoff from any other coverage, including MedPay coverage. The jury awarded Mr. Calderon $68,338.97 in damages against his insurance company; the trial court reduced that by $5000. The Supreme Court said this was wrong - Mr. Calderon had paid two separate premiums (one for MedPay, one for um/uim coverage) - and therefore Mr. Calderon's damages could not be reduced by the $5000 paid out in MedPay coverage.
Now, why is this important to you?
- When purchasing insurance, work with your agent to fully understand the coverages you are purchasing. Insurance policies are often confusing, poorly written, and mostly benefit the insurance company.
- Never let the insurance company dictate what you may be entitled to
- Auto accident cases can sometimes be complex and involve many different insurance providers and coverages; always consult a qualified attorney after you've been involved in an auto accident
My firm offers free consultations for all auto accident cases. If you've been injured in an auto accident, call me today to discuss your rights and options. 720-213-3737
October 4, 2016 --- It just got easier to find out who caused that car accident