The good news is that there has been a somewhat happy ending after this morning’s dramatic high speed chase that included a kidnapping and 3 car-jackings covering nearly 100 miles. 4-year old Allen Chavarria-Rodriquez was found safe and the suspect, Ryan Stone was apprehended in Douglas County after a two hour chase. Law enforcement is now sorting out the multiple charges (in multiple counties) for suspect Ryan Stone.
But, what the police will not be able to sort out is the following question: Who will pay for the damages caused by this crazy rampage?
We’d all like to pretend that this scenario could never happen to us. But, the reality is that these types of crashes are not so uncommon. While we may not see a dramatic high speed chase like this morning, Denver has recently been inundated by a rash of hit and run crashes. And just like a hit and run crash where the police may not be able to find the at fault driver, the insurance companies of the victims of today’s crashes may not cover the damage caused by this suspect, unless these victims have Medical Payment Coverage (Med Pay), Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) and/or Uninsured Property Damage (UMPD) coverage on their own car’s policy.
Well, that’s not fair your say! The suspect should pay! According to police reports, the suspect Ryan Stone had a long criminal history, including driving without a license and no insurance. And if you think that maybe the owners of the cars that were car jacked would pay for the damage-guess again. If you read the fine print of your car insurance policy, most insurance carriers have an exclusion for accidents that occur during a felonious act (such as a kidnapping or car-jacking), or accidents caused by a driver of the vehicle who did not have permission of the owner. Both of these exclusions are typically found in all car insurance policies, along with the exclusion for any driver who causes damage by committing an intentional act.
As a Personal Injury Law Firm, it is our job to help those who have been injured, due to no fault of their own, receive compensation for their injuries. But, if there is no insurance policy against which to file a claim, there is not much any personal injury attorney can do to help. UM/UIM coverage (and high limits at that) is not only typically quite affordable, but also absolutely crucial to have should you ever need it. So if you do nothing else today…review your insurance policy to make sure that you have adequate UM/UIM coverage. If you have any additional questions, give us a call – we are always here to help.