Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
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Choosing Your Denver Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Lawyer
In Colorado, the law requires all motorists to carry adequate car insurance. Drivers must maintain at least $25,000 in coverage for bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident, as well as $15,000 in property damage liability. Unfortunately, some drivers evade this expense by driving without insurance or with below minimum requirements of insurance. In fact, uninsured driving is a big enough issue that insurance companies offer specific coverage just for uninsured/underinsured driver collisions. This is an optional, additional type of insurance coverage in Colorado.
If you discover the driver who caused your accident does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, don’t panic. Your own insurance company might step in to take care of your medical bills and property damage. Your other potential legal remedy is a personal injury lawsuit. Jordan Law can help you file this type of claim in pursuit of full compensation through the Colorado civil system. Talk to our Car accident attorney in Denver for more information.
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About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance
By law, insurance companies must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in the same amounts as your selected bodily injury liability limits. Colorado drivers can legally reject this type of optional coverage, but they must do so in writing. If you never wrote or gave your signature to reject UM/UIM coverage, odds are you have these benefits on your policy. Review your policy or call your agent and ask if you have this type of insurance in the event of an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Colorado is a “fault” car insurance state. This means that injured parties will file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurer. UM and UIM coverage provides medical benefits and extends to other losses should the at-fault driver not have enough insurance to cover your damages. If the other driver has insurance, but not enough, his/her policy will cover what it can, and then your UM/UIM coverage will take care of the rest. UM/UIM coverage can also kick in after a hit-and-run accident, where the at-fault driver does not stay to exchange information.
After an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, call your own insurance company and explain that you need to file a UM/UIM claim. Your agent will walk you through the steps if you have this type of coverage, and you should receive a check soon after completing the claims process. Your plan should cover your medical bills and property damage, depending on the limits you purchased. You will only run into problems if you waived UM/UIM coverage or if this coverage still isn’t enough to reimburse your damages.
Frequently Asked Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Questions
What Are Common Issues with Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims?
Even with UM/UIM coverage, your insurance company may still deny, underpay, or ignore your claim. It’s important to remember that it is not in the best interest of the company to provide you with maximum possible coverage — they have to pay the settlement, after all. You may not receive adequate settlement offers, the company may suggest you were at fault for the accident, or the adjuster may question the severity of your injuries.
While it isn’t rare for insurance companies to question UM/UIM claims, a company that takes an overly adversarial approach to your case is not acting in good faith. There are a number of bad faith scenarios that can occur during the insurance process.
- Denying your claim outright
- Failure to investigate your claim in a timely manner
- Denying your claim without providing a valid justification
- Failure to properly investigate your claim
- Misrepresenting the terms of your UM/UIM coverage
- Undervaluing your claim and offering an insufficiently low settlement
- Using deceptive practices
If a company acts in bad faith, you may be able to turn your UM/UIM claim into a bad faith claim. Your attorney could also use this information as leverage in your claim, helping you secure the compensation you deserve under your policy. If you suspect an insurance adjuster conducting bad faith practices, save all pieces of relevant evidence and contact your lawyer.
What Should I Do After an Accident with a Denver Uninsured Motorist?
The moments after a car crash are some of the most crucial. During this time, you can collect evidence and speak to witnesses, helping your future claim. However, if you have serious injuries, your top priority is to seek medical attention. If you can move around the scene without pain or further danger, you can take the following actions.
- Call the police and report the accident. Answer the responding officer’s questions as truthfully as possible, and if you do not know an answer, respond with “I don’t know.”
- Take photographs of your injuries, both vehicles, and the area around the accident.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver and any witnesses who saw the collision.
- Do not accept any money from the uninsured driver. At this point, you do not know the full costs of your injuries, and you may accept a lower settlement than what you need to recover. It is in your best interest to pursue an UM/UIM claim.
Not all uninsured or underinsured motorists stay at the scene. If you are in a hit and run situation, take the following steps to preserve evidence.
- Do not follow the fleeing driver. Instead, call the police and report the accident. The sooner the police know about the driver, the sooner they can find him or her.
- Write down as much information you can remember about the driver, the accident, and his or her vehicle. Note the date, time, events leading up the accident, and a description of the vehicle and the driver.
- Take photographs of your vehicle and ask any witnesses for any information they remember. Collect their contact information as well for use in your future claim.
In all situations, you should call 911 as soon as possible. When law enforcement arrives, speak to the responding officer and ask for his or her information to find the accident report later. Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel hurt, and save all records of your medical visits. After you seek treatment, contact an attorney at Jordan Law as soon as possible.
Are There Other Means of Financial Recovery After an Underinsured Motorist Crash?
There might be another means of financial recovery available to you outside of your own insurance coverage – a personal injury claim. You could bring a claim against the at-fault driver in pursuit of financial compensation through the civil court system. You will have to prove the driver’s negligence in causing your accident and injuries. There might also be third parties who share fault for the crash, such as the city for failing to maintain its roadways.
A Denver personal injury lawyer from Jordan Law can help you identify the defendant(s) in your car accident claim and pursue damages through all available means in Denver. Our trial-tested attorneys can help with insurance claim settlements and personal injury lawsuits. Contact us to request a free consultation about your UM/UIM crash today.
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Motor Vehicle Accidents
After extensively searching for an attorney to take my case, and having no success, I was referred to Jordan Law. He was quick to respond and follow up with me. I was struggling to keep it together throughout this difficult experience, but the confidence and trust they built with me gave me to motivation to keep persevering