Filing a Lawsuit after an Accident When an At-Fault Driver Is Underinsured

A Fort Collins car accident attorney represents clients who have been seriously injured and are having trouble with an uncooperative insurance company. Typically, this situation involves another driver who caused the collision and that person’s automotive insurance company. That company’s adjusters deny the victim’s claim or offer to pay an unreasonably low settlement amount. They find reasons to blame the victim and absolve their policyholder of responsibility for what happened.

In some cases, the insurance company offers less than the injured person wants simply because the policy has a maximum benefit that is too low. In that case, the insurer is not liable to pay any more. The company’s customer had the responsibility of carrying a greater amount of insurance but chose not to.

Relevant Colorado Regulations

Colorado’s automotive insurance liability requirements are very low. A vehicle owner can choose the minimum amount, in which case the insurer is only required to pay $25,000 per person per accident. An injured person who has needed hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy and other forms of care may swiftly exceed that minimum amount.

Lawyers typically will not attempt to sue an insurance company for a higher amount, since they legally are not obligated to pay more than the policy’s limit. If the at-fault driver has enough assets, a lawyer might file suit against that individual for the balance of the medical bills and lost wages.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Unfortunately, most men and women who choose minimum liability insurance do not have assets to protect with a higher amount of coverage. In that case, the injured person might consider making a claim against his or her own policy if it includes underinsured motorist coverage. Since this coverage is optional in Colorado, not every policyholder decides to include it.

Medical Insurance

The accident victim’s own medical insurance should pay for the balance of healthcare expenses if necessary. Policyholders do not necessarily like this option, since they believe the at-fault driver should be responsible. In addition, many U.S. residents have policies with high deductibles and significant co-pay percentages. That can cause a hardship, as the injured person may still be left with thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Of course, medical insurance also does not pay lost wages. Many injured workers have to take several weeks or even months off while they recover.

Suing the At-Fault Driver

Some vehicle owners may select minimum liability insurance even if they own real estate or have other substantial assets. They may feel certain they would never cause a car crash and they do not want to pay a higher premium for the extra coverage. In this case, filing a lawsuit may be a reasonable option. A lien might be placed on the person’s property, or this individual might be required to pay money from a savings portfolio.

Being seriously injured in a vehicle collision is scary and stressful. The victim deserves full financial compensation when the crash was another driver’s fault. Accident attorneys represent clients in these situations, providing assertive efforts to make sure the best outcome is achieved.

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