Being in a crash can be terrifying. And, unfortunately, statistics show that it’s likely that all drivers will be involved in at least one crash at some point during the course of their driving years. While being involved in a crash is no doubt very upsetting, you may be able to take comfort in the fact that your injuries and damages will be paid for by the at-fault party’s liability insurance. But what happens if you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver? Who will pay for damages then?
If this has happened to you, our Colorado Springs uninsured/underinsured accident lawyers at the law office of McCormick & Murphy, P.C. can help you to understand your options and your rights. Reach our law firm today to learn how we can help.
Required Auto Insurance in Colorado
The first thing that you should know about driving in Colorado is that carrying auto insurance is required under the law. It is mandated that a person carry:
$25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person;
$50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident; and
$15,000 in property damage liability per accident.
Having this insurance is not optional, and can result in penalties for drivers who fail to drive while insured. Despite this, though, there are many drivers who choose to operate their vehicles without insurance. Not only are these drivers breaking the law, but they are also putting themselves at risk of personal liability in the event that they cause an accident.
Who Pays for Damages After a Crash in Colorado Springs?
When you are involved in a crash, it’s important to know what your options are for recovering compensation for your damages. In Colorado, at-fault drivers are responsible for paying for the damages that they cause. Rather than paying for damages out of pocket, though, an at-fault driver’s liability coverage will offer compensation to those harmed by its policyholder’s actions.
But what happens if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance? How will you recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered?
Your Options When Involved in a Crash with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver
Being involved in a crash with a driver who doesn’t have insurance can leave you with a sinking feeling, and a lot of anxiety about the future and how you will pay for your losses. Fortunately, there are usually other options. For example, if you have health insurance coverage, your health insurance provider should pay for your medical expenses.
In addition to your health insurance provider, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, property damage costs, and even your lost wages by filing a claim against your own insurance policy if you maintain certain coverage types. These include:
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Most people in Colorado carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage can pay for some or all of your losses in the event that you’re involved in a crash with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover the extent of damages you’ve suffered.
Waiving uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Colorado, you can waive this coverage in writing, but we advise that it never be waived.
Medical benefits coverage. This type of coverage is optional in Colorado and offers medical and funeral expenses coverage for you and any of your passengers harmed as a result of an accident. This coverage can be waived but we recommend that you do not waive it.
Collision coverage. Finally, if your vehicle was damaged in the crash and the at-fault driver doesn’t maintain property damage liability coverage, you can file a claim against your policy’s collision coverage for the cost of vehicle repairs.
Holding the Responsible Party Liable for Harm
If you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver we’ll also open an investigation to determine who was at fault for your crash. We will advise you as to what steps must be taken to bring a claim against your own insurance company.
Another element of your case that our lawyers will investigate is whether or not anyone else caused or contributed to your crash and damages. For example, did the negligence of a third-party cause the crash, such as a vehicle manufacturer’s failure to issue a defect-free product? We will consider all potential avenues of liability and insurance compensation.
What You Can Do After a Crash
After being involved in a crash with an uninsured/underinsured driver, there are a number of things that you can do that can help to protect your right to compensation. These include:
Writing down all of the details of the accident that you can remember;
Ensuring that your accident is reported to the police;
Seeking medical care and documenting your injuries;
Taking photos at the accident scene if you are able to;
Notifying your insurer of the crash as soon as possible after it occurs;
Keeping all receipts for any expenses or services related to the accident; and
Calling an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash – the earlier that you start the claims process, the better.
Our Colorado Springs Uninsured/Underinsured Accident Lawyers Can Help
At the law office of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado Springs uninsured/underinsured accident lawyers understand what you’re going through and how nervous you may feel if the person who caused your accident is uninsured. Our lawyers will aggressively advocate for your right to compensation and will explore all potential sources of compensation for you. Another driver not having insurance is no reason why you shouldn’t be paid for the harm you’ve suffered.
To learn more about our legal services and our Colorado Springs underinsured/uninsured accident attorneys’ backgrounds, call us today or send us a message to request a free consultation.