Littleton Car Accident: “You’re Covered…” Or Are You?
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
July 17, 2019
This has been a rough year for car accidents in Littleton. In February 2019, there was a high-speed police chase that ended up killing two innocent people. The details of what happened that night are very confusing, involving two stolen cars driving erratically, high-speed chases, and a horrific car accident in Littleton. Ultimately, one of the stolen cars got away, as did the driver. The other driver – the one who caused the fatal car accident – was apprehended by Littleton police.
That accident happened at South Santa Fe Drive and East Mineral Avenue. Another tragic accident occurred at W. Ken Caryl Avenue and S. Kendall Boulevard on May 13, 2019. This one is particularly scary to me because it involved a 17-year-old driver who hit a light pole early in the morning. This is every parent’s nightmare.
Closer to home, I have a cautionary tale to share about a victim in a Littleton car accident. We were contacted by the victim because his medical bills after the accident were overwhelming him and he believed that he was owed more money by his insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. He kept telling us, “I’m covered for any accident.” And to an extent, that was true. However, he only had $25,000 in coverage, which is the minimum required by Colorado law. This poor man’s insurance company had told him, “You’re fully covered,” but he only had the bare minimum. Now, $25,000 might seem like a lot of money on an average day, right? If any of us suddenly got a $25,000 check in the mail we’d feel rich! But it didn’t come close to covering this man’s medical bills. To make matters worse, the person who hit this victim only had $25,000 in coverage also. So, the maximum he could get was $50,000. Again, that’s a lot of money but it is nothing when you’re facing medical bills, lost work, physical therapy, a totaled car… Truly, this man’s financial needs will exceed $200,000 and there is absolutely nothing we can do to get him any more than $50,000.
After A Car Accident in Littleton, This Man Faced Financial Ruin
When we told the man this bad news, he kept saying, “But I’m covered! I’m covered!” He thought that simply having insurance meant that he was protected from financial ruin. He has learned the hard way what I want you to learn the easy way: Get as much insurance as you can afford! Here is a checklist to help make sure that you’re covered properly. You need to have each of the following coverages:
Liability: Takes care of damage you cause to others.
Collision: Takes care of damage done to your car.
Comprehensive: Takes care of damage done to your car not caused by a collision. (Think: “act of God.”)
Underinsured Motorist (UIM): Purchase a minimum of $250,000. (See below for more information on this.)
Medical Payments (MedPay): Helps cover medical expenses not covered by your healthcare insurance. Get the maximum offered by your insurance company, usually between $5,000 and $25,000
Umbrella Policy: Protects your assets if the accident is significant. If you own your home, you need an underinsured motorists’ umbrella policy.
What is Underinsured Motorists Coverage?
Now, let’s take a deep dive into one of the most important – but “optional” – types of coverage you can get: Underinsured Motorist Coverage, or UIM. UIM covers you against other drivers who aren’t covered or who have low coverage. In Colorado, a huge percentage of drivers are underinsured or uninsured. You need UIM to protect yourself from financial ruin like the man I mentioned above. Do me a favor. Get your insurance card out right now and look at it. Does it have a “U” or “UIM” on it? If not, call your insurance agent and say, “Do I have Underinsured Motorist Coverage?” If he or she says, “No,” tell them you need it. If they say, “Oh, your health insurance will cover those expenses. You don’t need UIM,” ignore their advice and demand UIM. Here’s why:health insurance doesn’t cover everything that UIM covers. Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:
Future medical expenses
Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering
If you’re at all confused or concerned, call or text me today: 303-388-5304. I’d be happy to review your insurance card with you for free. (It’s my personal mission to make sure everyone is protected after an accident.) Here’s another recent case with a happy ending. It illustrates the value of UIM perfectly. This man was driving south on Santa Fe Boulevard in Littleton when a car hit him by making a left-hand turn across his lane. The driver of the other car only had $25,000 of coverage but our client had $250,000 in UIM. He will be able to access $275,000 to cover his expenses and losses. Do you really want to trust other drivers to carry enough insurance to cover your medical bills if they hit you?
Filing an Accident Report in Littleton, CO
Finally, I thought I’d share information about how to report an accident in Littleton, CO. This information comes from the Littleton government website:
Reporting Minor Car Accidents in Littleton
In an effort to make the reporting process more convenient for drivers involved in a minor accident, the Littleton Police Department uses the Colorado State Patrol’s online accident reporting system. If a citizen is involved in a minor accident in the City of Littleton, they should file the report with the state within 30 days of the accident. Restrictions and Criteria This method of accident reporting may be used if the driver(s) of the vehicles involved have been told by a law enforcement official to file a counter report; or, if an accident alert was in effect at the time the accident occurred. Criteria for using the website to file a report, as required by the Colorado State Patrol, are as follows:
No fatality or injury requiring medical attention was sustained by any person(s) involved in the accident, and;
The accident is not an alleged hit and run, and;
The accident does not involve damage to any public property other than wildlife, and:
No drivers involved in the accident are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or have insurance or driver’s license violations.
The report can be filed using any computer with Internet access. If the citizen does not have a home computer, most local libraries, including Bemis Public Library, have free Internet access that can be used to file the report. If you have any questions about this article, don’t hesitate to call or text me: 303-388-5304.