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Uninsured Motorist Accidents

Making an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Colorado

Unfortunately, sometimes a driver will choose not to buy insurance, despite the legal requirement. In these cases, the victim suffers. You still must bear the costs and expenses of the crash, but securing compensation from the responsible driver may be impossible. In such situations, it is important that you fully understand your legal rights. A Denver uninsured motorist lawyer can help.

When a car accident occurs and the responsible driver lacks insurance, those injured in the collision have two options. One option is to sue the driver who caused the crash, naming him or her as the defendant in a lawsuit. However, while you may sue with the help of an experienced lawyer and you may win your case, collecting the money awarded to you may pose a challenge. Often, people who do not have car insurance also have limited assets and no money. Thus, you will have a hard time obtaining any funds. This leaves you in an unfortunate position of holding an uncollectable judgment.

The second and often better option is to make an uninsured motorist claim. An uninsured motorist claim is a claim that you make with your own insurer. The amount of compensation available equals the amount of uninsured motorist coverage you have purchased as part of your policy.

When you make an uninsured motorist claim, your insurance company stands in for the driver who would have paid your bills had he or she purchased the required insurance. You should be able to obtain compensation for your losses and be made whole after the accident, just as you would if you were making a claim against the driver who caused the accident.

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Colorado Auto Insurance Requirements

Colorado law requires drivers in the state to hold a certain minimum level of insurance coverage. 

The system is designed to ensure that people injured in car accidents or whose vehicles are damaged can get at least some compensation. However, many people hit the road across the state with little or no insurance coverage. 

Liability insurance generally covers bodily injury and vehicle damage for car accidents caused by the insurance policyholder. State law requires drivers to have at least the following minimum coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to one person in a car accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person in an accident
  • $15,000 for vehicle and other property damage, per accident

Certain people and entities who can prove that they can personally pay for injuries or vehicle damage in the event of a crash can qualify as self-insured. Self-insurance is limited to businesses and individuals who have more than 25 vehicles registered in his or her name. 

Anyone caught driving without the minimum required insurance faces a variety of penalties, including the suspension of driving privileges, driver’s license points, fines of up to $1,000 per offense, and required community service. They also face potential personal liability for any accidents that they cause. 

Collecting money from an uninsured or underinsured driver can be difficult because these people often cannot afford to pay for insurance, let alone pick up the tab for vehicle damage and personal injuries. A Denver uninsured motorist accident lawyer at our firm can help you explore all potential avenues for compensation.

Optional Auto Insurance Coverage in Colorado

Drivers can also obtain additional insurance coverage beyond that required by law. This coverage offers extra layers of financial protection in the event of a crash.

Collision Coverage: This insurance helps you pay for damage to your own car in the event of an accident. Collision coverage is typically required for drivers who are leasing or financing a vehicle. It typically kicks in for crashes with other vehicles, as well as single-vehicle accidents and collisions involving trees and other objects. However, it does not apply to damage to a vehicle that is not caused by a crash, damage to another vehicle involved in a collision, or personal injuries sustained in an auto collision.

Comprehensive Coverage: This type of coverage applies to vehicle damage sustained other than in a car accident. For example, comprehensive policies typically cover theft, vandalism and damage from falling objects (trees, hail, etc.), as well as from animals, fire and natural disasters. Like collision insurance, comprehensive coverage is typically required for people who are leasing or financing the purchase of a vehicle.

Medical Payments Coverage: Although individual health insurance policies often cover injuries that a person suffers in a car accident, some people obtain additional coverage for potential medical treatment under their auto insurance policies. That is especially true in situations where the person has a high health insurance deductible or significant copayments. This coverage may be offered in $1,000 increments up to a maximum of $25,000.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage: This insurance kicks in when you get into an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance or does not have the full amount of coverage required by state law. It also covers hit-and-run accidents.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage essentially takes the place of the insurance that the at-fault driver should have had. It also fills the gap if the coverage is higher than that provided under the at-fault driver’s liability policy.

FAQs for a Denver Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer

At Levine Law, we often get questions from people who have been involved in a car accident with a driver who has no auto insurance or less than the legally required amount of coverage.

Our Denver uninsured motorist accident lawyer is happy to discuss your particular situation and help you understand your rights and options.

I Was in an Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver. What Should I Do?

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident where the driver who caused the crash left the scene, it is important to report the collision as soon as possible. 

If you do not need emergency medical treatment and the vehicle is still operational, move your car to the shoulder or the side of the road and use your hazard lights to alert oncoming traffic. Then, call 911 or the local police department to report the accident and wait for an officer to arrive on the scene.

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver who does not immediately flee, it is important to get as much information as possible. Assuming you do not need immediate medical attention, move the car out of oncoming traffic. Then ask the driver for his or her full name and contact and insurance information. You should also take photos of the vehicles and the scene and jot down the other car’s license plate and vehicle identification number.

Finally, contact a Denver uninsured motorist accident lawyer at Levine Law to explore your options for seeking compensation.

Who Will Pay for My Car to be Fixed and My Medical Bills?

That depends. 

Typically, an at-fault driver is legally responsible for any property damage and physical injuries that he or she causes in a crash. However, getting money damages from an uninsured or underinsured person can be more difficult because he or she may simply not have the ability to pay. 

A Denver uninsured motorist accident lawyer at our firm will comprehensively explore all options for holding the at-fault driver accountable, even if the person does not have adequate insurance coverage. We will also identify any other responsible parties – including the driver’s employer, in some cases – and make sure you get the full compensation available under your own auto insurance and other applicable policies.

Do I Need an Uninsured Motorist Lawyer to Submit an Insurance Claim?

Although you are not required to have an attorney to submit an insurance claim, there are several reasons why it is vital to have an experienced lawyer in your corner.

First, a lawyer can help you identify all responsible parties and determine how much insurance coverage they have. In addition to the at-fault driver, his or her employer, the car’s owner, its manufacturer and others involved in the crash may also share some or all of the liability. 

An attorney will also work to ensure that you get the full insurance benefits for which you have paid. Insurance companies often try to settle these cases for pennies on the dollar. At Levine Law, our Denver uninsured motorist accident lawyer will fight tirelessly to get the total compensation available.

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Why You Need Levine Law By Your Side

Unfortunately, while you should be fully and fairly compensated through your uninsured motorist claim, your own insurance company may balk at having to pay out after the accident. An insurance company’s primary concern is its profit margin, not your well-being. This means you may receive a claim denial, a lowball offer, or pressure to settle your case for less than it is worth.

To prevent these undesirable outcomes and to make sure you receive the compensation you need, it is important to have an experienced legal team representing you. Our Denver uninsured motorist lawyers at Levine Law can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the money you deserve. If your insurance company denies your claim with no legitimate reason, the lawyers at Levine Law can also file a bad faith action to hold your insurer responsible in court.

For more than 20 years, the accident lawyers at Levine Law have been representing injured victims and negotiating with insurance companies in Denver and throughout Colorado. Give us a call today at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation and learn about your options.

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