Motor vehicle accidents occur at astounding rates nationwide. An estimated amount of 10 million people gets in various types of accidents in the United States each year, ranging from barely bumping another car in the parking lot to catastrophic multi-car pileups. According to recent studies conducted by several car insurance companies, the average driver will file a claim for a collision at least once for every 20 years that they have been driving. Therefore, over the course of an individual's lifetime, they'll have been involved in an estimation of three or four accidents altogether. And although these accidents may not always have catastrophic results, they always prove to be an inconvenience to those who experience the displeasure of being in them.
In situations when injuries or fatalities occur, collisions can single-handedly flip the lives of those involved upside down. An abundance of medical expenses, funeral fees, and other accident-related costs can be overwhelming and become a burden on the pockets and minds of those involved these accidents. Through the pursuit of legal recourse, victims are granted the chance of recovering the losses they've acquired as a result of an accident. Damages such as lost wages, emotional distress, and other harms may be recovered in court with the help of a qualified attorney.
Under Colorado law, all drivers are required to carry at least a minimum amount of insurance coverage. During traffic stops or when registering a vehicle, motorists should carry proof of the coverage they choose and present it to authorities. This same showcasing of their insurance should be presented to other parties involved in the event of an accident.
Required Auto Insurance
Mandates in Colorado law demand that every state insurance company provides the following minimum auto insurance coverage to each licensed driver:
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
This insurance only covers the other car and/or driver when you are found to be at fault for an accident.
Optional Auto Insurance
There are several types of optional auto insurance plans that providers offer for a variety of circumstances. Two of the most common types of additional car insurance selections are collision coverage and comprehensive coverage options.
Collision auto insurance covers the damages accrued in the aftermath of a single-car accident, a rollover, or an accident involving another car. For example, it can be utilized in cases when a motorist hits a brick wall, a gate, a fire hydrant, or any other objects. Drivers who total their car may use this insurance option for a replacement. Although this coverage is not considered obligatory for use under state law, the bank may require it if a driver receives an auto loan. Drivers with newer cars that carry a high value are more likely to acquire collision coverage.
Comprehensive Auto Coverage
Comprehensive auto insurance covers and protects drivers from damage inflicted to their car due to circumstances they cannot control. It does not cover collisions. Colorado requirements list conditions like hail, theft, fire, explosion, earthquake, falling objects and damage inflicted by wildlife, like deer. Similarly to collision coverage, a bank may require that an individual acquire comprehensive auto coverage if he or she has an auto loan.
Colorado's Fault-Based System
One of the first concerns of individuals involved in a collision is receiving the proper compensation to cover injury-related losses. Compensation can be recovered through pursuing individual assets from the liable party or through an insurance company. Many people choose the latter route, although it's important to consult with an attorney to weigh the options before making an impulsive decision. Colorado recently changed its law regarding auto insurance coverage policies from a “no-fault” insurance based system to a fault based system. Under previous law or a no-fault system, anyone who was harmed in an accident was able to receive personal injury protection (PIP) benefits through his or her prospective insurance company. These benefits covered all medical expenses despite who was at fault for an accident. This system assured that all parties could immediately file claims without having to undergo an investigation to determine who caused the accident.
The new system operates entirely differently. In an attempt to hold motorists accountable for accidents, the fault-based law system requires an injured person to receive coverage for medical expenses from the at-fault party's insurance company. This alteration in legislation has made matters increasingly difficult for those injured in car accidents. Victims are forced to quarrel with the liable party's insurance company to receive benefits they rightly deserve. Oftentimes, the insurance company opts to either refuse to turn over the requested amount of money listed in a claim or to dispute the amount in the claim entirely.
Why do you need an attorney?
Due to these issues, it's imperative to have the help of experienced legal professionals. Under the old system, your own insurance company provided benefits, in which they acknowledge that they owe you a duty. When adhering to a fault-based system, the other person's insurance company does not technically owe you that same duty. An insurance company may try to sway you to settle a claim for less than it is worth. These insurance providers may take advantage of the fact that you don't have a complete understanding of the value of your claim and an in-depth knowledge of the law. With the assistance of hired legal representation, you will have an advocate dedicated to protecting your interests. An attorney who has experience dealing with the gimmicks pulled by these providers will be the one to communicate with them on your behalf.
Experienced Colorado Car Accident Attorneys
The attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal sympathize with the fact that accidents are life-changing events. We understand that in the aftermath of an accident you may be very overwhelmed with both financial and emotional issues. Let us take on the legal obligations while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.