What to Do When Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Colorado
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Car accidents can have devastating consequences for those involved. Although all car accidents can be stressful, those involving uninsured motorists are usually even more so. Why is this so? Because when motorists are not covered by an insurance policy, it can be difficult for victims of accidents to recover compensation for injuries, even if the uninsured driver was fully at fault.
Whether you are a resident or just visiting, being involved in a Colorado car accident can be difficult financially and emotionally. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do beforehand to help lessen the blow of an accident with an uninsured driver.
What Is an Uninsured Driver?
An uninsured driver is a motorist who has no automobile insurance, does not have insurance that meets state-required minimums, or whose insurance company is unwilling to pay a claim. Many states also consider a driver who is involved in a hit-and-run an uninsured motorist because the injured party is typically unable to get any compensation from the unknown party.
Although the number of uninsured drivers in the United States has fluctuated over the years, there has been a recent spike nationwide. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2015, nearly 13% of motorists—or about one in eight drivers—were uninsured. In that same year, Colorado was ranked 13th in the nation for the highest number of uninsured drivers, coming in with nearly 16.3%.
Due to these staggering statistics, many states now have mandatory requirements for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage; more than half of the states in our country have since passed laws and verification systems to prevent uninsured drivers from injuring others without recourse.
Even if you do have an insurance policy, you may still be considered underinsured depending on the laws in your jurisdiction. These laws are frequently changing to fit the demands and needs of the particular area—Colorado is no exception. Thus, if you live, drive, or vacation in Colorado, it may be helpful to consult with an insurance expert to evaluate the sufficiency of your current policy before hitting the freeway or interstate.
What Should I Do If I was Injured By An Uninsured Driver in Colorado?
Even if you take all of the appropriate safety and financial measures to protect yourself before an accident, you may still fall victim to and suffer from a collision with an uninsured motorist. In these cases, there are a few steps you should take after the accident to lessen the burden of the incident.
These steps include the following:
1. File a Police Report
Documentation is imperative in cases involving bodily injury and property damage; therefore, if you are involved in an accident, it is critical that you contact the police immediately after reaching safety. If called, the local authorities will come to the scene and draft an official report of the accident; this police report will likely include any available information about witnesses, injuries, or property damage. If you later decide to pursue legal action, this police report will be a crucial piece of evidence to help you pursue your case.
2. Avoid Accepting Fault
Liability allocation is an important step in any accident or fault-based claim. If you were involved in an accident, it is important that you avoid accepting fault for the collision without first consulting with a legal professional. Depending on your court and judge, such an admission may be used against you in future proceedings.
3. Get a Medical Evaluation
If you are involved in a car accident, it is essential that you see a medical professional to evaluate your injuries; even if you are experiencing no discomfort or pain, still visit a healthcare professional to avoid developing subsequent injuries from untreated trauma. Visiting a medical provider after an accident can also help your claim succeed in court; this is because a doctor will create an official medical report of your injuries. If your case proceeds to litigation, you will be able to use these medical documents to prove your injuries to the court.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you sustained any property damage during an accident, you may have to contact your insurance company to discuss what costs your policy will cover. Unfortunately, many insurance companies prefer to pay their clients as little as possible; negotiating with these companies can be difficult, depending on your specific provider and the complexity of your claim. An attorney may be able to help you get the best offer possible during these negotiations.
5. Consult with a Legal Professional
Although some victims choose to navigate the recovery process alone, many others may find the process exhausting and difficult. Since many insurance companies do not like to pay out large sums, it can be burdensome to try to collect enough to cover your expenses. Thus, it can be beneficial to consult with an attorney who is able to help you navigate this legal process.
Following the five aforementioned steps can make a huge difference in your recovery time after an accident. These steps can not only help you lessen the emotional burden of an accident, but the financial one as well. If you or your loved one was injured in an accident while traveling on business or when running everyday errands, or you need help on what to do if in an accident on vacation, you should contact an attorney.
Awards & Recognition
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2017-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017) BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021), & CHRISTINA HAGEN (2021) BY SUPER LAWYERS (A THOMPSON REUTERS COMPANY)
MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2017-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2020), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), NEIL SOLOMON (2019-2020), COLE GUMM (2019-2020), CHRISTINA HAGEN (2020) & BRENDAN MCQUAID (2020)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO
AWARDED TO ZINDA LAW GROUP (2016-2019) BY THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA IN 2015, 2016, 2017, AND 2020
AWARDED TO JOE CAPUTO (2016-2019) BY THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
AWARDED TO ZINDA LAW GROUP IN 2018 BY INC.
Awarded to John C (Jack) Zinda (2021) by the American Association for Justice
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What INSURANCE LAWS DOES COLORADO HAVE?
In 2021, many states require that you have certain types of coverage with minimum liability limits; Colorado, like many others, has established such insurance requirements for drivers. Every driver must adhere to local vehicle registration regulations that require vehicles to be covered by some sort of automobile insurance before obtaining a Colorado registration tag. Colorado adheres to the 25/50/15 rule, which means that each driver’s policy must include these minimum coverages:
Individual Bodily Injury Liability of $25,000
This requirement is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for an individual’s injuries in a car accident, which is also referred to as the policy limit.
Total Bodily Injury Liability of $50,000
This requirement is the total your insurance company will pay for every person (total) injured in a car accident.
Property Damage Liability of $15,000
This is the most your insurance company will pay for property damage caused by a car accident.
Even though your insurance company may give you a choice in selecting your policy limits, Colorado law requires that you carry these minimum policy limits to help protect the public and your own financial future. It is crucial that you pay attention to local policy limit requirements before purchasing a policy because adherence to these laws is not optional.
You can purchase additional coverage to pay for the damage to your car if hit by an uninsured driver. In Colorado, insurance companies are required to offer UM/UIM in the same amount as the bodily injury liability limits that you select. This additional coverage can only be rejected in writing.
Carrying more insurance is always a good idea, if you can afford it. If you were involved in an accident, it would be helpful to speak with a Colorado accident lawyer as soon as possible. Once you have hired a lawyer, he or she will be able to assess your insurance policy and help you proceed with the recovery process.
What can i do to protect myself from uninsured drivers?
Colorado has one of the highest numbers of uninsured motorists in the United States. These uninsured drivers present many risks to other drivers on public roads. If an uninsured motorist is responsible for an accident or inflicts serious injury onto another driver, the injured party may not be able to recover enough to compensate for their losses.
Luckily, there are some safeguards that responsible drivers can take to protect themselves from these uninsured motorists. Uninsured motorist insurance protects you if you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not carry their own insurance policy. Underinsured motorist insurance steps in when you are involved in an accident with a driver whose liability limits are too low to cover your claimed expenses; some states even require that drivers carry some sort of prevention policy to protect against these uninsured or underinsured drivers.
In addition to a basic uninsured motorist policy, drivers can also purchase personal injury policies or medical payments coverage to help lessen the financial strain of being involved in an automobile accident. These additional policies may not be sufficient to cover all of your incurred expenses, but they can still lower your overall out-of-pocket costs depending on the specifics of your accident. Ultimately, there are many ways to protect yourself from uninsured drivers; if you are looking to purchase a new insurance policy or supplement, it would be beneficial to contact a professional to help you evaluate your options and choose the best one for you.
get help from zinda law group’s COLORADO ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
Car collisions with uninsured drivers can leave victims with substantial debt and trauma; victims of these collisions can suffer emotional and physical consequences, on top of the aforementioned financial ones. Fortunately, there are many things that Colorado drivers can do to protect themselves from uninsured drivers.
Although many accidents can be prevented, not all are avoidable; knowing what to do after an accident with an uninsured motorist can help you protect yourself and your family. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, contact a Colorado accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced, local injury attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim’s merits, and negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group attorneys provide personalized and quality consultation and would be pleased to talk with you about the specifics of your legal claim. Moreover, the sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident with an uninsured driver, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our experienced accident attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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