What You Need to Know About Uninsured, Underinsured & Bad Faith Auto Claims
Being injured in a car accident in Colorado can be a painful, stressful, and confusing experience, especially when the crash involves an uninsured or underinsured driver or an insurance company that refuses to live up to its responsibilities. People injured in car accidents across that state have several legal rights and options for seeking compensation for their injuries. An experienced Denver car accident attorney can help you investigate the crash, build the most substantial possible claim for money damages, and navigate a wide range of insurance issues.
Accidents with Uninsured, Underinsured Drivers in Colorado
State law requires drivers in Colorado to carry at least a minimum amount of auto insurance.
Currently, drivers must have at least $25,000 per injury in bodily injury insurance, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance, and $15,000 per accident for property damage. Bodily injury coverage extends to medical costs and other expenses stemming from injuries or death resulting from the accident. In contrast, property damage coverage relates largely to the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle damaged in a crash.
Still, many drivers hit the road in Colorado without the minimum required insurance coverage. Some are underinsured, meaning they have some insurance coverage but not the full amount required by law. Others are uninsured, meaning they have no auto insurance at all.
That is why motorists are also expected to have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per collision for accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers.
When accidents with uninsured and underinsured drivers happen, there are a few avenues for injured people to seek compensation. The best option is to file a claim for benefits under your own insurance policy. How much money you can get depends on how much uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage you have.
Adding Another Party to the Lawsuit
You can also file a lawsuit against the driver and their employer if the accident happens during the driver’s job, directly seeking compensation for the injuries. However, getting the money from the driver often proves difficult because the person is unlikely to have significant assets if they are uninsured or underinsured.
In some cases, another party may also be partly to blame for an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. Car manufacturers, for example, are often liable for crashes caused by vehicle defects and malfunctions, while road crews may be on the hook for collisions that result from them failing to take certain precautions to keep construction sites safe.
Bad Faith Claims Against Insurers in Colorado
Sadly, some insurers do not always make it easy for policyholders to get benefits. Whether an insurance company drags out the process, offers pennies on the dollar for a legitimate claim, or denies the claim altogether, these moves make it much more difficult for people injured in accidents to get the compensation they deserve.
Fortunately, you have the right to take action against your insurer. Colorado law obligates insurers to act in good faith by dealing fairly with policyholders. That means reviewing claims and investigating accidents rather than simply denying claims or making low-ball offers. An insurer who does not live up to this responsibility is likely to be liable for the harm caused and forced to pay the original claim.
Speak with a Denver Auto Accident Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver or has been stuck haggling with an insurer acting in bad faith, a Denver accident attorney at Levine Law can help.