If you or somebody you care about sustained an injury or property damage in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver in Colorado, you will likely be able to recover compensation. In most cases, Colorado vehicle accident claims are resolved through settlements with an insurance carrier. Here, our Boulder car accident attorneys want to discuss the at-fault insurance system in Colorado as it pertains to recovering compensation for your losses after an accident.
All Colorado Drivers Must Have Insurance
Just like every other state across the country, Colorado mandates that all drivers carry insurance. State law also mandates the type of insurance and minimum amounts individuals must carry in order to remain legal on the roadway. In Colorado, all drivers must have at least the following:
- Bodily injury liability insurance of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance of $15,000 per accident
Looking at these minimums, it should become clear that this will not cover total expenses associated with a moderate to severe incident, particularly if injuries occur. We strongly encourage all drivers in Colorado to consider obtaining additional levels of insurance above the mandated minimums.
What Happens After a Collision?
Colorado is an at-fault insurance state, which means the at-fault driver will ultimately be responsible for paying compensation to those who sustain injuries or property damage. Typically, this means that the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will cover the costs up to the limits of the policy.
After an accident occurs, insurance carriers will get involved quickly. Every driver involved will notify their own insurance carrier, and the insurance carriers typically work behind the scenes to determine how much compensation goes to the various parties involved.
However, insurance carriers are not your friend or anyone else’s friend. The carriers want to protect their bottom line, which means limiting how much compensation they pay out. We strongly encourage crash victims to work with a skilled car accident lawyer who can help them through this process and work to recover full compensation for their losses. This is particularly true if there are any allegations of shared fault, which could limit how much compensation crash victims receive.
What About Uninsured Driver Accidents?
Data available from the Insurance Information Institute indicates that approximately 16% of all drivers in Colorado are uninsured. This is a significant percentage of uninsured motorists. Unfortunately, uninsured motorist coverage is not mandated under Colorado law, but we strongly encourage all motorists to purchase this type of insurance as a part of their auto insurance policies. Uninsured motorist coverage is not terribly expensive, and it will help cover expenses caused by accidents with an uninsured driver.
Can You Use Your Own Insurance Carrier?
In no-fault accident states, individuals turn to their own insurance carrier to recover compensation for their losses, regardless of who caused the crash. That is not how Colorado insurance laws work. As we mentioned, crash victims will recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.
However, Colorado drivers can purchase medical payments coverage, which is a form of no-fault insurance. When a driver carries this type of coverage, they can receive compensation for their medical bills relatively quickly by filing a claim with their own insurance carrier.