Posted in Blog on August 18, 2016
Let’s take a typical motor vehicle crash such as a rear-end collision as an example. All drivers on the road have a duty other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to drive carefully and safely. In Colorado, a driver who rear-ends another driver is presumed to be negligent – in other words, rear-ending another vehicle is a presumed breach of the duty to drive safely. In order to have a personal injury claim, injuries such as whiplash or broken bones must have resulted from the crash. Finally, the injuries which resulted must have been caused by the collision alone. If all these requirements are met, an injury claim legitimately exists.
The reason why insurance is mandatory for all drivers and vehicles is because car collisions happen frequently and people both cannot and do not want to be personally liable for injuries or property damage that results from a crash.
Imagine that a driver causes $12,000.00 in damage to your car, while you also need $5,000.00 in medical treatment because of your injuries. If the driver were personally liable, he would have to pay out $17,000. Most people do not have this kind of cash sitting around should this occur.
Thus, the government has mandated that all drivers pay premiums to an insurance company who will “cover” this driver for any injuries or property loss that their insured may have caused.
In Colorado, the minimum liability coverage is $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. The “per accident” amount comes into play when, for example, there are multiple people in one car who are injured or multiple vehicles involved in a crash.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, most of the communications from your lawyer will be with the insurance company, not the at-fault driver. Insurance companies have large claims departments who will work with your lawyer to discuss the injuries that occurred, what sort of medical treatment was received, if there are any lost wages, and the intangible ways the crash affected your life. The folks who initially handle claims for an insurance company are called “adjusters.” While insurance companies do, of course, also have many lawyers working for them,
generally lawyers only become involved once a lawsuit is filed.
On paper, insurance companies are supposed to pay for any and all damages and losses caused by their own insured.
In reality, however, insurance companies are businesses with bottom lines, profit margins, shareholders, and executives. Therefore, insurance companies are constantly finding ways to deny claims entirely or severely undervalue how much a claim is worth. In doing so, the insurance company is hoping that people will drop their claims or take much less than they deserve, putting more money into the insurance company’s coffers.
This is precisely why hiring an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney is so important after you have been injured.
Want more information?
Download our guide to understanding personal injury claims in the state of Colorado. This comprehensive resource contains everything you need to know about injury law and answers some of the most frequently asked questions we get on a daily basis. There is hope after your injury. For more information or to contact one of our experienced lawyers visit: www.zanerhardenlaw.com.