Colorado Auto Insurance
In the hours and days following a serious car accident, the thoughts of most injury victims quickly turn to how they will be able to secure the financial resources necessary to cover the many expenses stemming from the event. Though conscientious motorists across Colorado take pains to obtain the appropriate insurance coverage required by law, the likelihood that injured parties will receive fair payment for the harm they have sustained came sometimes be called into question. Because of the particular system of auto insurance at work within the state, obtaining an appropriate level of compensation can prove challenging. However, Denver car accident attorney, Jeremy Rosenthal, is prepared to enter the fray on behalf of his clients, put deft negotiation skills to work in discussions with claims adjusters and do everything possible to ensure that the needs of accident victims are fully and timely met.
Colorado Insurance Coverage Requirements
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.
Mandates in Colorado law demand that every state insurance company provides the following minimum auto insurance coverage to each licensed driver:
- bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident event
- property damage coverage of at least $15,000 per accident event
- medical payments coverage of $5,000 per accident
- uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
This insurance only covers the other car and/or driver when you are found to be at fault for an accident. It should be noted, however, that both the medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage amounts can be declined, provided the vehicle owner signs a form stating his or wish not to purchase them. Failing to obtain uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can be a risky proposition, however, since in some situations, it is the primary way in which victims secure much needed monetary resources if they are harmed in an accident caused by a driver lacking sufficient (or any) coverage.
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.
As a “fault” state, Colorado now requires injury victims to interact with the other driver’s insurance carrier, in what can often be hotly contested negotiations. Even in instances where a company’s insured driver has been clearly established as being at fault, claims adjusters routinely attempt to minimize the victim’s damages and deny full payment of claims. This should not come as a surprise, considering that an adjuster’s main priority is to produce savings for his or her employer, though this tendency can create very real hardships for those already harmed by the negligence of another.
The Crucial Role of a Colorado Accident Attorney
Ever since Colorado pivoted away from no-fault auto insurance in favor of a tort-based system, the process of securing fair compensation following an accident has become significantly more arduous for victims. In the past, the filing of a no-fault claim was a fairly straightforward proposition, with every driver’s own insurance carrier obligated to act in good faith with regard to claims. However, under the new system, the insurer of the at-fault driver is unlikely to conduct itself in a similarly agreeable manner. They will make every possible effort to reduce, limit or deny claims made by an injured party in order to further their employer’s fortunes.
For these reasons, it has never been more important for anyone injured in an accident to consult with an experienced attorney who understands the tactics employed by insurance carriers and will bring tough negotiation strategies to bear in the pursuit of maximum compensation. In addition, a seasoned accident lawyer will conduct a thorough examination of the facts underlying the accident in question in order to identify any other potential sources of coverage for the losses sustained. In some circumstances, it may be possible to obtain compensation from homeowners insurance policies, umbrella policies and other types of coverage that may be applicable in given scenario.
Denver personal injury attorney Jeremy Rosenthal understands the confusion and uncertainty that can follow closely on the heels of any automobile accident and that is why he pledges to shoulder the burden on behalf of victims and their families. He will manage all communications with the responsible driver’s insurance carrier, marshal strong documentation of all categories of loss suffered and zealously advocate for full payment of clients’ claims. Because insurance companies regularly take an extremely adversarial approach when it comes to paying funds to which accident victims are rightly entitled, it is unwise for them to attempt to go it alone. Jeremy Rosenthal is prepared to fight aggressively for the injured in Colorado and hold carriers’ feet to the fire every single time.
If you or someone close to you has suffered serious harm due to the negligence of another driver, please know that knowledgeable, compassionate legal assistance is available. To learn more about your right to seek fair compensation for your injuries, contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal at (303) 825-2223.