State law requires every driver to have auto insurance. This insurance must meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. If you cause an accident with another driver, they have the right to start a claim against your auto insurance policy to seek compensation for the damages.
Many people mistakenly believe that their auto insurance follows them no matter what vehicle they drive. This is not true, and the reality is that auto insurance follows the policyholder’s vehicle, not the policyholder themselves. This means that if you borrow someone else’s car you are effectively borrowing their insurance policy as well, and this insurance policy is what will come into play if you cause a car accident.
Auto insurance is required by law in the state. If you have a driver’s license and a vehicle, you must insure your vehicle or face various penalties. For example, you could face sole liability for damages you cause to others and have your driver’s license suspended until you can provide proof of insurance. Every auto insurance policy must provide three types of coverage:
- Bodily injury liability coverage. At minimum, a policy must offer at least $25,000 to cover injuries to a single person in an accident caused by the policyholder.
- Total accident liability coverage for bodily injuries. The policy must increase bodily injury liability coverage to at least $50,000 when multiple persons suffer injuries in a single accident.
- Property damage liability coverage. This will cover the injured driver’s vehicle repair costs, and at minimum a policy must provide at least $15,000.
While not strictly required, drivers are also encouraged to add uninsured/underinsured driver coverage to their policies. This optional coverage will come into play if you have an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Since you will not be able to claim against an auto insurance policy they don’t have, you can use this coverage to claim against your own policy. However, since you did not cause the accident, your premiums will not increase for filing this claim.
Before you file your auto insurance claim, you must prove the exact cause of your accident and identify the driver responsible for it. Distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are just a few examples of commonly cited causes of car accidents in the state. Once you determine fault for the accident you can proceed with your insurance claim. An experienced attorney is an ideal resource in this situation as they can not only help with your insurance claim but also assist you in filing a personal injury suit if insurance alone cannot compensate your damages.
FAQs: Does Insurance Follow the Car or Driver in Colorado
What Happens With Insurance if I Crash Someone Else’s Car?
Just like in most other states, insurance follows the insured vehicle and not the driver. If you borrow someone else’s car and cause an accident, the other driver has the right to start a claim against the car owner’s insurance policy. If you borrow someone else’s car and they do not have insurance, they will face penalties for failing to have insurance as required by law, but you will be responsible for the other driver’s damages as you were the one who caused the accident.
Can You Have Car Insurance if You Do Not Own a Car?
It’s possible to purchase non-owner car insurance if you do not own your own vehicle but spend time driving other vehicles. This type of insurance will cover the same basic coverage types that a standard policy must cover, but it will likely be more expensive to maintain than a standard policy.
What Happens if Someone Else Drives My Car and They Are Hit by Another Driver?
Colorado is a fault state, so the driver who causes an accident becomes liable for the damages. If someone else is driving your vehicle and they are hit by another driver, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver to recover vehicle repair costs. If the person who borrowed your car was injured, the at-fault driver’s insurance can cover their medical expenses as well. However, if the person who borrowed your car incurred more losses than the at-fault driver’s insurance provides, they will have to start a personal injury claim to recover the remainder of their damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Start an Auto Insurance Claim?
You are not legally required to hire legal counsel for a car insurance claim, but you have a much better chance of securing a fair settlement quickly with an attorney’s assistance. Your attorney can streamline the claim filing process, and once the insurer sees that you have legal counsel, it will be inclined to process the claim in good faith as swiftly as possible. In the event that your insurance claim does not fully compensate for your losses you will need your attorney’s help to start a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident Case?
If you need legal counsel to help you recover from a car accident, the right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your recovery. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so your fee will only be a portion of the total amount we recover for your damages, and you pay nothing if we are unable to secure compensation for you for any reason.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal understands the complexities and legal challenges you might encounter after a car accident, especially if you were driving someone else’s car or someone was borrowing your car when the accident happened. Our firm has a wealth of professional experience with all types of motor vehicle accident claims, and we are prepared to provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need in your situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about how we can assist in your recovery.