If you’re in a motorcycle accident in Colorado Springs, it can be a terrifying experience that could leave your life in shambles. Motorcycle wreck injuries are often more severe and life-altering than the average car accident injury. You know that you deserve compensation for the injuries and financial losses you’ve suffered, but you don’t know where to turn when you discover that the other driver didn’t have the insurance to cover your bills.
What can you do? You may have heard of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and how it may be able to help you get the compensation you need. Learn how underinsured motorist coverage works in Colorado Springs and how a qualified Colorado Springs motorcycle accident attorney can help you get the settlement you deserve. It’s just that easy!
Understanding Drivers Insurance in Colorado
First, it’s important to understand how vehicle insurance works in Colorado. Every driver in this state is required under the law to carry a minimum level of liability insurance. This amounts to a minimum of:
- $25,000 for a single person for injury or death
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death for all persons involved
- $15,000 in coverage for property damage.
The state also requires that every insurance company operating within Colorado offers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, or UM and UIM coverage. At a minimum, insurance companies are required to offer $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in UM/UIM coverage. Customers can, however, refuse this coverage by issuing a written refusal. The coverage is cheap, and it’s highly recommended that all motorists carry it.
Your UM/UIM coverage cannot exceed the maximums of your liability insurance. This means, for example, that if you have $100,000 in liability coverage, you can have a maximum of $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Colorado Springs
Just because the injuries and financial losses you have faced are worth a certain amount is no guarantee that you can collect that full amount in a settlement. The courts may determine that your injuries are worth $250,000. However, if the other driver’s insurance maxes out at $100,000, you may only get the amount set by their maxed insurance limit. If they can’t pay the rest of the settlement they owe you, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done to collect.
That’s where uninsured and underinsured coverage in your policy comes into play. How does underinsured motorist coverage work in Colorado Springs? Well, UM/UIM coverage is in place specifically for situations where you are in an accident with someone who either doesn’t carry insurance at all (known as uninsured) or whose insurance isn’t enough to cover your full accident costs (known as underinsured). These forms of insurance kick in when you need them, ideally covering the costs of your injuries like medical bills that aren’t covered by the other driver’s policy.
What to Do if I’m Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Colorado?
Any motorcycle accident has the potential to be catastrophic. Motorcyclists aren’t protected by the four walls and a roof that cars offer, so when you’re struck, you can end up with:
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Muscle or soft tissue damage
- Other severe injuries
The damage from a motorcycle accident can turn your life over in an instant and change it forever. When the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance, it can be even scarier. When the amount of your losses exceeds the maximum from the defendant’s insurance company, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company under your UM or UIM coverage.
In Colorado, these claims have to be filed within three years from the date of the accident. Though if you have received partial compensation from the defendant’s insurance, you may have an extra two years to file your claim. If you fail to file your claim within that period, you can lose your right to use your insurance altogether.
How to File an Underinsured Motorcycle Accident Claim in Colorado
It’s essential that you take the right steps after your accident so that you have the best chance at getting full compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. You’ll want to call first responders immediately to ensure that everyone at the scene sees medical attention, get the cars off the road if possible, and document the site and accident in as much detail as you can.
After this, exchange information with the other driver, including their insurance information if they have coverage, so you can present it to your insurance company. You’ll want to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. The majority of insurance carriers in Colorado require that you get their permission before you accept any settlement for the accident. Failing to get their approval can mean that you won’t be able to use your UM or UIM coverage if needed.
Your best next steps are to make a claim to your UM or UIM insurance, which you might want help from a motorcycle accident lawyer to help build your strongest case possible for the maximum compensation. From there:
- If the driver was underinsured, you can collect up to the limits of their policy, after which your insurance company will pay the balance from your underinsured motorist policy.
- If the driver was uninsured, then you can seek compensation from your uninsured motorist policy.
What if My Insurance Company Refuses My Underinsured Claim?
It’s not uncommon to end up having to fight your own insurance company over your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim in Colorado. There are many reasons this might happen.
The insurance company may claim that you shared some fault for the accident, or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. They might also claim that you don’t have the required statements or documents, or that you have missed your time frame to file a claim.
How Can a Lawyer Help My Underinsured Motorist Claim?
This is where a Colorado motorcycle accident attorney comes in. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Colorado Springs, one of the first things you should do to protect your interests is call the attorneys at Heuser & Heuser, LLP. It’s just that easy!
We can take over communicating with the insurance company to make sure you have all the documents, statements, and evidence you need to support your claim. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. We will fight to get you all the compensation you are owed. Call us at 719-520-9909, or fill out our online form to get your free case review today.