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Insurance Issues

If you have been hurt in an automobile accident, in one form or the other insurance will come into play. Ultimately, the at-fault party is responsible to compensate injured parties for all of their economic and non-economic harms and losses. These damages include obvious losses like lost wages and medical expenses as well as less obvious harms and losses like inconvenience, emotional distress, and physical pain.

The primary source of compensation comes from the at-fault party's insurance company. In Colorado, individuals are required to carry a minimum of $25,000.00 of liability insurance. Finding out how much coverage the at-fault party has is not as easy as you might think. Unlike other states, in Colorado the at-party is not required to disclose how much insurance is available until a lawsuit is filed, in which case the defendant must disclose available insurance within 30 days.

Issues can arise when multiple people are hurt and there is only a limited amount of available insurance. You may be familiar with policy limits phrased in terms like $100,000/$300,000. What this means is that the insurance provides a maximum of $100,000 per person and a total of $300,000 per incident. If a family of five were seriously hurt in this situation, there would only be a total of $300,000 in available coverage.

Generally, if the at fault driver was on the job when the accident occurred, the employer is responsible for the negligence of the driver through a legal concept known as Respondeat Superior. When this occurs, the employer's general liability insurance policy usually provides coverage. These "general liability polices" often carry one million dollars or more in available insurance coverage.

As you can imagine, there are many unfortunate situations when the defendant's insurance policy is not enough to fully compensate for the harms and losses caused. There are several options available when this occurs. First, you can attempt to collect against the at fault driver personally. Here is an example:

Our firm handled a case in which the at fault driver, who happened to be drunk, turned left on a red arrow and caused very serious injuries to the plaintiff. Making a bad situation worse, the defendant only had $100,000.00 in available insurance. The defendant's insurance company very quickly offered to settle the case (completely releasing the at fault driver of any personal responsibility) for the $100,000 policy limits. When the defendant's assets were check, however, it became clear the driver had significant assets to pay any judgment. After a few months of intense litigation, the at fault driver wrote a check for an additional $100,000 to settle the case. Of course, every case is different. If you have any questions regarding your case, please call or email us for a free case assessment. The Kaudy Law Firm is here to help.

Do you have enough automobile insurance?

If there is one thing plaintiffs' lawyers and insurance agents can agree on, it is that everyone needs to be sure they have enough insurance to protect you and your family should the unthinkable occur.

The first way you can do this is to be sure you have included substantial uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) in your automobile policy. Most people are surprised at how little it costs to add substantial protection in the form of UM/UIM coverage.

UM coverage protects you from a negligent driver who has no insurance while UIM coverage protects you from a driver with only minimal coverage. We recommend you purchase at least $250,000 in UM/UIM coverage. Why so much? Remember that your health insurance company will likely have a right to be paid back for any accident related care it provides you. Thus, if you are involved in a serious accident in which your medical expenses exceed $100,000, standard insurance policies will leave you with little, if any, money for reimbursement of lost wages and other harms and losses.

Thus, we encourage you to talk to your automobile insurance agent to learn about your UM/UIM coverage. For a few extra dollars every month, you can be sure you and your family is protected in the event of an accident caused by someone with little or no insurance.

If you have substantial assets (for example, you own your home), be sure you also talk with your agent about your levels of liability coverage. Let's face it, we all make mistakes. If you are at fault in an accident and cause someone significant injuries, you want to make sure you have enough liability coverage to fully compensate for the injuries you cause. Many people wrongly believe that they cannot be held personally responsible for any damages if they have automobile insurance. This is not true. You are responsible for all of the economic and non-economic harms you cause. The last think you or your family wants to face is the prospect of personal liability because your amount of coverage was inadequate.

Vehicle Accidents

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The Kaudy Law Firm LLC
333 W. Hampden Avenue,
Suite 850,
Englewood, CO 80110
Phone: 303-623-1885
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The Kaudy Law Firm, LLC, provides legal help to injured people and victims of insurance misconduct, including bad faith, in Denver, Colorado, and communities throughout the Denver metro area, Rocky Mountain region, Front Range, Eastern Plains, the Foothills, the Western Slope, I-70 and I-25 corridors, Denver County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Boulder County, Summit County, Eagle County, Pitkin County, El Paso County, Weld County and Larimer County, including the cities of Aurora, Broomfield, Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Colorado Springs, Lakewood, Littleton, Golden, Longmont, Loveland, Vail, Aspen, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Castle Rock, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Thornton, Brighton and Westminster.