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, 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.
Key Shift in Colorado's Auto Insurance System
In many jurisdictions across the United States, a so-called no-fault system of auto insurance prevails. Under such a structure, individuals who suffer injuries in car accidents have the ability to receive benefits and compensation under his own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Resources typically available under PIP provisions include payment for medical bills and other similar expenses incurred as a result of the crash. No-fault jurisdictions thus provide accident victims the ability to quickly submit claims for payment of these types of costs without having to worry about outside assessments of who was deemed responsible for causing the collisions.
However, Colorado was a forerunner in what some see as a growing trend in favor of tort-based auto insurance systems. The legislature here has seen fit to make a change from no-fault rules to a structure in which those harmed in auto accidents are typically prevented from recovering medical expenses from their own carriers if they did not themselves cause the incident in question. Instead, injured parties must pursue this type of recovery from the insurance company that issued the at-fault driver's policy. This represents a substantial departure in the way accident claims have long been handled, and it makes the entire process a bit more challenging for individuals already facing physical, emotional and financial hurdles following a crash.
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.
Minimum Insurance Requirements Under Colorado Law
In order to remain in compliance with applicable auto insurance law in Colorado, vehicle owners must have certain minimum coverage amounts in place at all times. These include:
- 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
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.
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 a Colorado auto 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.
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.
The Advocacy Accident Victims Deserve
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.