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What Is the Purpose of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

What Is the Purpose of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Klein Frank

If you’re injured in an accident because of another driver in Colorado, you expect not to be on the hook for your own medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. After all, you did nothing to cause the crash, so why should you be responsible for paying anything out of pocket? The answer is that you shouldn’t be.

Unfortunately, there may be some situations where an at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage to pay for your damages. Below, our team explains more about car insurance requirements in Colorado and your options if you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Colorado Fault Laws and Car Insurance Requirements

Under Colorado’s fault laws, those who are injured in accidents caused by other negligent drivers are able to recover by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The state requires all drivers to have minimum liability coverage in the form of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
  • $15,000 for property damage in any one accident

Liability coverage is meant to cover the costs of another person’s damages should the insured driver cause an accident that results in bodily injury, death, or property damage. With liability coverage alone, the insured driver cannot recover damages for an accident he or she causes. This driver would be responsible for paying all of their related damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.

Motorists who are caught driving without the minimum car insurance in Colorado may face certain legal penalties, including license suspension, jail time, a $500-$1000 fine, and points on their driving record. Additionally, providing false information about one’s insurance is considered insurance fraud and may result in up to three years in jail and $100,000 in fines.

Situations Where UM/UIM Coverage May Be Utilized

Driving without insurance is more common than many people realize. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), over 16% of all drivers in Colorado did not have auto insurance in 2019. Even if a driver does have the minimum liability requirements, it is often not enough to cover the total expenses they incur as the result of a serious accident, especially one involving multiple injured parties.

In these situations, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can be extremely beneficial. This is an extra type of coverage that you can add onto your own auto insurance policy in order to protect yourself from certain unexpected events. There are a few different situations where you may be able to utilize your UM/UIM coverage, including:

  • The At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance. If you are injured in a car accident by a driver who does not have any insurance, UM/UIM could be utilized.
  • The At-Fault Driver Has Insufficient Coverage For Your Damages. In many serious accidents or those involving multiple vehicles, minimum liability insurance is not enough to cover everyone’s damages. You have to think of this coverage as a pool that everyone is trying to utilize. With only so much to go around, you may be in a situation where the at-fault driver’s liability insurance doesn’t cover the cost of your total damages. In such a case, you may turn to your own UM/UIM coverage.
  • You Are Injured as a Pedestrian or Cyclist. If you are injured as a pedestrian or cyclist by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can also turn to your own UM/UIM coverage.

Need Assistance Filing a Claim?

If you have been injured in a car crash in Colorado, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney at Klein Frank, P.C. to ensure that your rights are protected. We know from experience that insurance companies will go to any means necessary to deny or undervalue claims that come their way in order to protect their own profits.

Backed by 60 years of experience, our team is not afraid to stand up for the rights of real people who have been wronged. We are willing to fight for as long as possible to obtain a favorable outcome on your behalf while you take the time you need to recover.

Contact our team at (303) 622-3876 to get started with a free, personalized case review!
 

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