Colorado auto insurance lawsOne that knows Colorado auto insurance laws. Old Man Winter has arrived and, if you’re like my family, your thoughts have turned to the upcoming holidays, rich with family visits and travels near and far.

“Over the river and through the woods…”

But, what if something happens to interrupt this idyllic time? Something like a car accident?  I know, no one wants to think about that, but please read this article before welcoming family to your holiday festivities! You might be able to save your out-of-town friends and family a lot of headache by knowing this information in advance.

Namely, Colorado accidents should be handled by a Colorado or Denver accident lawyer. Don’t let your loved ones travel back to another state after an accident without first consulting not only a lawyer, but one that knows Colorado auto insurance laws.

Some Colorado Auto Insurance Laws You Need to Know

Here’s why: Our state is different. (No, not different like your brother’s kids are “different.”)

In most other states, they have something called “no-fault insurance.” If your friends get in an accident in that state, their auto insurance covers them no matter who is at fault, including medical bills, lost wages, etc.

Colorado used to have no-fault insurance but now we hold the at-fault driver (and their auto insurance company) responsible for all damages. Simply put: If you’re in an accident in Colorado, the person who is responsible for the accident is responsible for all of the victim’s damages, too.

So, if your sweet Uncle Ernie from Ermine, KY is in an accident on Colorado roads, he cannot expect his own auto insurance to cover his expenses. He is under the jurisdiction of Colorado laws.

And getting paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not easy. Your Uncle Ernie will quickly discover that insurance companies do not automatically resolve these claims. Pretty much everyone – especially out-of-towners – needs the help of a personal injury attorney who knows Colorado auto insurance laws.

Did you know that the other driver’s auto insurance won’t pay for damages until the victim is completely done with treatment?

For example, did you know that the other driver’s auto insurance won’t pay for damages until the victim is completely done with treatment? There is no “pay-as-you-go” provision. So, while Uncle Ernie is racking up medical bills, his credit is suffering, and the bills won’t go away until his treatment is complete.

A Denver accident lawyer can help bridge this chasm for victims, helping them to understand other insurance options available and even helping to protect their credit. Meanwhile, the attorney can also work to secure the best possible settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance.

Here’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about: Last winter, I was involved in a case in which the victim was severely injured here in Colorado and was unable to drive back to his home state. Luckily, this victim had PIP, or personal injury protection, on his own auto insurance so we were able to use that to get him home. But he had no idea that he could access that insurance… he didn’t even realize what it was for until I explained it to him.

I’ve also helped to secure payments from a victim’s insurance company to cover some of the victim’s expenses. But then, of course, that insurance company wants to get paid back. In those circumstances, I have helped victims pay as little as possible from their final settlement.

Here are a few more examples of why your out-of-town guests need a Denver accident lawyer if they get into an accident while in Colorado. A good personal injury attorney can…

  • Access money from places other than the negligent driver’s insurance company. Many people in Colorado car accidents (because of our at-fault laws) only look at the negligent driver’s insurance for financial help, but there are other “pots” that you can access after an accident. Insurance is a confusing industry… sometimes I think they try to confuse us on purpose. Get professional legal help for your loved-one.
  • Help you understand the nuances of MedPay. If your out-of-town friend has Medical Payments Coverage, they can use it to pay for first responders, emergency room bills, co-pays, deductibles, doctor visits, chiropractors, massage therapy, physical therapy… In essence, it may cover a lot of things that their health insurance doesn’t. And often, people totally forget that they bought this coverage and they don’t know how to use it!
  • Determine the true value of a case, which is an art and science that takes into account much more than property damage and medical bills. Did you know that victims can use the amount that hospitals bill, which is usually much higher than what you pay, in determining the value of a case?
  • Challenge hospitals and other medical companies to bring down the amount that a victim owes, thereby adding more money from the settlement to their pocket.

None of us want to imagine that our out-of-town guests would get into a car accident. However, please keep this information in mind so that you can best help your loved ones manage the stress of an accident if it happens.

Related articles:

Drive Defensively: Get the Right Insurance — Unfortunately legal minimums are rarely enough to help you when the worst happens on the road.

Who’s Going to Pay All These Medical Bills? — Knowing the best way to manage bills associated with an accident is critical.