Being in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, particularly if you sustain serious injuries. Often, the only real relief is knowing that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to pay for medical expenses and any time you lose from work. However, this does not always happen if an uninsured driver is involved. When the other motorist did not have proper insurance coverage at the time of the accident, victims are frequently left feeling more helpless than ever.
So, is there anything you can do if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver? The good news is that with a little planning, yes, there is.
Auto Insurance in Colorado
In Colorado, every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. This insurance provides coverage for property damage and personal injury in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, for years Colorado has been notorious for having many uninsured drivers on its roads, or drivers who do not carry the minimum insurance coverage required. These drivers are known as uninsured motorists (UM) or underinsured motorists (UIM).
When purchasing auto insurance, drivers can request a UM/UIM policy that will provide benefits in the case of an accident with someone without proper insurance. This coverage can provide for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and even pain and suffering.
What to Do After an Accident
The chances are good that you will know you need to make a UM or UIM claim immediately following the accident. Drivers should always exchange information and if the other driver does not provide proof of insurance or says he or she does not want to go through insurance, it is likely because the other driver does not have any.
When this is the case, you need to report the accident to your own insurance company, and tell them you are likely going to need to file a UM or UIM claim. It is important that you do not wait to do this, as some policies have strict deadlines for these types of claims.
Before contacting the insurance company, there are two things injured individuals should do. They should first look over their insurance policy to ensure it does not contain an exhaustion clause. These clauses state that before a person can receive benefits from their UM or UIM policy, they must first exhaust all other possible compensation options. For example, if a third driver was involved in the accident, and partly at fault, the injured individual may have to go through that driver’s insurance first.
Were You Hit by an Uninsured Driver? Contact a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer
It is true that there are insurance policies available that can help if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. It is for this reason that all drivers in Colorado should carry UM or UIM insurance. Then when it is time to make such a claim, you should speak to a personal injury attorney in Colorado.
If you have been hurt in an accident, call Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. before calling the insurance company. We will speak to the insurance company on your behalf and make sure you do not miss any of the important deadlines companies impose on these policies. Call us today at (303) 792-5595 or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.