What are the most common causes of an auto accident?
An automobile crash can be caused by many different factors such as speeding, drugs, alcohol, defective products associated with the vehicle, failure to obey traffic signals and traffic laws, texting and talking on a cell phone while driving.
How often does this happen?
Car crashes are occurring at an alarming rate. There are over 6 million car accidents each year in the United States. A person is injured in a car crash every 10 seconds and someone is killed every 12 minutes. Car cashes are the leading cause of death for kids from 2-14. Each year, approximately 250,000 children are injured in car crashes; meaning nearly 700 kids are harmed every day.
Who Pays for the Damages?
The person (and their insurance company) who causes a car accident is financially responsible for all property (damage to the car), economic (medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses) and non-economic (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, physical impairment, etc.) damages related to the accident, under Colorado law.
Colorado law also requires every owner of a passenger vehicle (car or truck) in the State of Colorado to purchase car insurance, including both property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.
How do I know if I can establish a car accident claim?
- It must proved who was at fault for causing the accident
- There must be damages that were caused by the accident
- It must be proved the damages were caused by the auto accident
Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at The Bendinelli Law Firm and we can help you determine the value of your claim.
What’s Covered and Who will pay?
Colorado law states that the person (or their insurance company) who is at fault for the accident is responsible for the damages.
Colorado law also requires all drivers of a passenger vehicle (car or truck) to carry liability insurance which generally covers the bodily injury that you cause to someone else, and for property damage you cause to another’s property through the negligent use of your vehicle. Colorado law mandates the following minimum coverages:
Bodily Injury Liability (BI) Coverage covers you if you cause an accident and someone is injured or killed. The minimum bodily injury coverage in Colorado is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This is commonly referred to as “25/50.”
Property Damage Liability (PD) Coverage covers you when you damage someone else’s property. Typically property damage occurs to the other driver’s car. Other property damage could include: garages, buildings, utility poles, street signs, fences and other physical property. Colorado’s minimum requirement for Property Damage Liability Coverage is $15,000 per incident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage (UM/UIM) Although Colorado Law mandates all drivers have liability insurance, you may be involved in a car crash and the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage. You can purchase UM/UIM coverage that covers your medical and other expenses when the at-fault driver either has no insurance or if their insurance coverage is not adequate to cover your expenses.
In January 2008, Colorado Revised Statute 10-4-609 went into effect, which prevents insurance companies from manipulating the terms of your policy in order to deter you from collecting the full underinsured/uninsured benefits that you may have thought you were paying for.
The two major changes affecting Colorado drivers are:
- Insurance companies can no longer “offset” or subtract the amount
paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy from the amount available
under your underinsured coverage policy.
- Insurance companies can no longer include “anti-stacking” language
in their underinsured policies. “Anti-stacking” prevents the
insured from combining their coverages from multiple policies, on multiple
vehicles, in the same household, in order to maximize their coverage.
Medical Payment Coverage (Med Pay or MPC)
Med Pay offers consumers additional protection when they’ve been injured in a car accident. As of January 2009, Colorado law requires insurance companies to offer a minimum of $5,000 in Med Pay coverage to pay your medical bills. Med Pay is in addition to your health insurance coverage which typically has deductibles and co-payments. This coverage can be used for medical expenses (up to policy limits) for the driver and/or passengers regardless of who is at fault and is available immediately.
You must opt out of this coverage in writing or the premium will be automatically added to your policy. You also have the option to purchase additional Med Pay coverage. Owners of motorcycles, scooters, snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles are not automatically covered and must specifically ask for Med Pay coverage.
The knowledgeable car accident attorneys at The Bendinelli Law Firm are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and the complexities of UM/UIM claims and we can ensure that your rights are protected.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What to Expect When You Work with The Bendinelli Law Firm
At the Bendinelli Law Firm, P.C., we pledge that your personal injury case will be handled in such a way that we never lose sight of your best interests. We are small enough to provide the individual care and attention that all of our clients deserve, but we’re also big enough to have the substantial resources necessary for a successful outcome.