You were Hurt in a Car Accident: Now What?

personal injury

If you were recently hurt in a car accident, you are likely navigating the choppy waters of insurance: your own auto and health policies, the auto policy of the person who hit you, as well as any other sources of insurance that may exist. This article will briefly outline the most common sources of compensation available to you through insurance.

Medical Pay (“MedPay”)

After January 2009, all Colorado insurance companies were required to provide a minimum of $5,000 in MedPay. MedPay provides immediate payment for medical expenses incurred in an auto accident. This includes payment for deductibles, expenses not covered by health insurance, and any other medically related out-of-pocket expenses. While you may opt-out of MedPay on your auto insurance policy, the added cost of carrying MedPay is minimal, and the ultimate pay-out could be well worth your while. We strongly urge you to consider adding MedPay if not already included in your insurance policy.

Payment from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

In Colorado, the minimum amount of coverage that you must carry is $25,000/$50,000/$15,000. This means your insurance will pay-out $25,000 per person injured, $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 for damage to another person’s property. Of course, many people choose to pay more to increase these limits.

In order to receive benefits, you must submit information regarding your injuries to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. That carrier will make a determination of the value of your claim, and pay-out accordingly. Unless it is obvious that your claim will exceed the policy limits, the insurance company will generally work to pay you the least amount possible.

It can take some time to received compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The delay is often due to the uncertainty of a person’s recovery. Because you are entitled to received compensation for future medical expenses and lost wages, it is important to have a sense for what your needs might be in the future.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

You may have protection under your own insurance policy that will protect you if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have a large enough policy limit to compensate you adequately. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage (“UIM”), you can make a claim with your own policy upon discovery that the other driver did not have insurance, or after receiving payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance that is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries. With the relatively low policy limits set by statute in Colorado, we recommend you opt to carry UIM coverage through your insurance.

Other sources of insurance

Some umbrella policies and homeowner’s policy may offer you additional benefits if you have been injured in a car accident. If there were multiple passengers in the vehicle, it is also possible to involve multiple insurance policies.

We can Help

If you were in a car accident, the attorneys at Kalamaya | Goscha can help negotiate on your behalf to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve under all the insurance policies that are available to you. Kalamaya | Goscha has offices in Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Edwards. To speak to one of our award-winning attorneys call 970-315-2365.

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