There are about a dozen states that currently follow the no-fault car insurance system. Colorado is among the majority of states that moved to a traditional tort-based system. In 2003, the state decided to eliminate the high premiums associated with the no-fault system, leading to less expensive coverage overall. But this switch has changed things for those who are injured in a car accident in the state.
It’s important to know the differences between the laws so you can understand your rights if you’ve been involved in a collision. Additionally, a qualified car accident lawyer can help you receive adequate compensation for your injuries, so you can focus on what’s important — your recovery. Continue reading to learn more about Colorado’s specific laws and what they may mean for you.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
Covering losses and injuries after a car accident is a major concern. Oftentimes, compensation is obtained through an insurance policy. So what are the differences between no-fault and tort-based auto insurance?
With a no-fault system, an individual injured in an accident could receive personal injury protection (PIP) benefits using their own policy. Under a PIP claim, the injured person may receive coverage for medical expenses despite who was at fault for the accident.
This system allowed injured parties to file claims under their own car insurance policies, which, as a result, prevented them from having to wait for a determination of fault.
Tort Auto Insurance
Under Colorado’s tort-based system, those injured in an accident usually don’t have the option of covering medical bills with their own insurance policy if they were not at fault. Instead, they must seek coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The Consequences of Tort-Based Auto Insurance
The consequences for having tort-based auto insurance laws versus no-fault laws is far-reaching. First and foremost, injured passengers or drivers will now have to deal with the other party’s insurance company. Additionally, once fault is determined, the insurance company of the at-fault driver may not even grant the entire amount of requested compensation. In fact, it is very common for the requested amount to be disputed.
Another issue may arise if the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the injured party’s medical costs. They may not even have insurance in some cases. When this happens, the injured driver may use their own coverage or file a lawsuit to receive the necessary compensation. We’ve covered the steps you should take under these circumstances in another one of our blogs.
Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Colorado
As you can see, things can become very complicated under Colorado’s tort-based auto insurance laws. Dealing with insurance companies and the at-fault driver can be a real headache, and many are left without the compensation they rightly deserve.
By consulting an attorney at Heuser & Heuser, you can learn your rights and take the proper steps to have your expenses covered and get on with your life. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation.