For individuals who find themselves involved in an auto accident, perhaps for the very first time, the process of securing compensation and benefits through an insurance claim can be a remarkably intimidating prospect. Specific facets of Colorado's system of auto insurance make it necessary for detailed inquiries concerning fault to be made in order for many claims to be resolved, a marked change from the structure that was in place in decades past. However, many motorists within the state will find themselves facing circumstances in which another form of insurance recovery will be necessary. PIP or Med Pay coverage may represent the primary method of securing critical resources following an accident and attorney Jeremy Rosenthal can help clients throughout the process of accessing them.
Colorado's Shift to Tort-Based Insurance System
Until 2003, Colorado was a so-called “no-fault” insurance state. Accordingly, individuals who suffered injuries and other losses in an auto accident could simply turn to their own insurance carrier in order to receive payment for medical expenses and other categories of benefits. However, the legislature eventually shifted the state to a tort-based model of auto insurance. Under this type of structure, injury victims are required to pursue compensation from the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver. Though this change has arguably made the claims process somewhat more cumbersome for accident victims, it has produced substantial savings in that costly, comprehensive personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that is so central to no-fault systems was no longer mandatory.
Current Role of PIP and Med Pay Coverage
In no-fault states, PIP coverage is a mainstay and part of minimum required coverage for vehicle owners. However, in a state such as Colorado, coverage of this type plays a far more limited role. To illustrate the point it is wise to understand minimum required coverage within Colorado, which encompasses:
- bodily injury liability insurance in the amount of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- property damage liability insurance in the amount of $15,000
- carriers must also offer at least $5,000 of medical payment (Med Pay) coverage, which operates in a similar fashion to PIP coverage in that it pays limited types of expenses without regard to fault
While insurance providers are required to offer no less than $5,000 in Med Pay coverage, which can be declined in writing by prospective purchasers, there are motorists within Colorado who elect to purchase this type of coverage at even higher limits, as protection in the event they are themselves assessed to be at fault in a crash.
Securing Compensation Following an Auto Accident
Whether you are seeking fair compensation via an at-fault driver's policy or by accessing PIP or Med Pay coverage, insurance adjusters can and often do erect substantial roadblocks along the way. Those who have been seriously harmed in a Colorado auto accident often find themselves at a real disadvantage when attempting to thoroughly document claims and negotiate with carriers. These are the times when a seasoned accident attorney can prove truly invaluable in easing the load during what is almost always an extremely trying time.
Representing Motorists Across Colorado
If you or a loved one have had the misfortune of sustaining injuries or worse in an automobile accident, please know that knowledgeable advocacy is well within reach. The Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal is prepared to help you at each stage of the insurance claims process so that you receive the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. To learn more about the unrivaled client service on which Coloradans can rely, contact us at 303.825.2223.