Every state in the country has different laws and statutes for resolving car accidents. Some states enforce no-fault systems, requiring drivers to carry their own personal injury protection insurance that they would use should an accident occur, regardless of who caused it. Others, including Colorado, use the fault system, meaning the driver at fault bears liability for the damages they cause to others.
Drivers are required to have auto insurance to drive legally in the state. Unfortunately, not all drivers meet this obligation. When they cause accidents, the other drivers they injure are often left wondering how they can recover their losses. If you recently experienced a car accident due to the actions of an uninsured or underinsured driver, a seasoned car accident attorney is the best resource to consult to help you determine your options for holding the responsible driver accountable.
State law dictates that every licensed driver must have auto insurance that includes two forms of coverage: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. The minimum bodily injury liability coverage a driver must have is $25,000 for a single person injured in an accident they caused. However, the policy must provide at least $50,000 in total accident liability coverage if more than one person is injured. When it comes to property damage liability coverage, this covers the cost of repairing or replacing the injured driver’s vehicle and other personal property, and the minimum coverage requirement is $15,000.
When a driver purchases auto insurance in Colorado, insurance providers will offer various coverage options at different rates. The price the policyholder pays monthly to maintain their coverage is a premium, and most insurance base their premium rates on drivers’ accident and traffic violation records. If a driver has a history of causing multiple accidents, or if they have a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) on their record, this will likely lead to higher premium rates on their insurance. On the other hand, a driver with a spotless driving record will likely have a much lower premium rate.
Drivers have the option through most insurers to purchase coverage beyond the minimum requirements, and there are additional types of coverage they may wish to add to their policy. When it comes to accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers, it’s possible to arrange an auto insurance policy to include coverage for this specific event. When shopping for auto insurance, the level of coverage and types of optional coverage added to a policy all influence the policyholder’s premium rate, so it’s vital for them to strike a balance between coverage and premium affordability.
If you are hurt in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, the first steps you take immediately following the crash can profoundly impact your recovery. You should try to secure as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident if you are able to do so safely. For example, using your phone to take photos of the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and the positions of the vehicles in the road can be incredibly helpful to your recovery efforts. If you are severely hurt you should wait for first responders to arrive, and after seeking medical care for your injuries, the best thing to do to recover as fully as possible is reach out to an experienced car accident attorney as quickly as you can.
State law requires all drivers to have auto insurance that includes at least minimum coverage for property damage and bodily injury liability. While not required, drivers are encouraged to also purchase uninsured/underinsured driver coverage. This coverage option allows the covered policyholder to file an auto insurance claim against their own policy if an uninsured driver hits them.
Driving without auto insurance is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine and a driver’s license suspension. It is also possible for the driver at fault to face jail time, depending on the specifics of their case. When a driver loses their license due to driving without insurance, they cannot reclaim their license until they show proof of insurance coverage and complete the penalties assigned by the court. If an uninsured driver causes an accident resulting in injury or death, they are likely to face substantial civil liability along with criminal penalties.
If another driver is clearly to blame for your recent accident, you have the right to file a claim against their auto insurance policy. An attorney can be an invaluable asset in this effort, helping you secure any evidence and witness testimony you may need to firmly prove their liability. Your attorney can then assist you in filing a claim to the responsible driver’s insurance company. Reliable legal representation reduces the risk of facing unethical tactics from the insurer and shortens the time required to secure the compensation you need to recover.
Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency basis, meaning their legal fees are contingent upon their ability to secure compensation for their clients’ damages. The client is not required to pay any upfront or ongoing legal fees and is not required to pay anything to the attorney if they are unable to secure compensation on their behalf. This type of billing arrangement ensures that legal counsel is affordable and accessible to those who need it most.
The attorneys at Cheney Galluzzi & Howard have years of professional experience facing the largest auto insurance companies in the state on behalf of our clients, and we know the risks you face in seeking compensation for the losses another driver recently caused. If you have questions about auto insurance and your other options for legal recourse following a car accident you did not cause, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.