Is Colorado a No Fault State?

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

July 22, 2022

What is Colorado Law on Fault Insurance?

There are two types of states regarding car accident insurance claims: blame and no-fault. It’s crucial to know what state you reside in since it will affect how you seek compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident.

After a collision, some jurisdictions require drivers to claim with their own insurance company, while others require drivers to file an insurance claim with someone else’s insurance company.

Colorado is not a no-fault state, save in divorce proceedings, which are another beast entirely. Colorado is a tort (or at-fault) state. This is a classic legal system framework in which the individual who causes an accident is accountable for compensating the other party in the collision.

STATES WITH NO-FAULT VS STATES WITH FAULT

In a no-fault state, injured parties just submit damage claims with their insurance carriers. To be compensated, no one has to prove or assess blame. On the other hand, no-fault rules restrict your ability to sue the person responsible for your accident.

Medical payments coverage (or PIP) insurance is required in most no-fault jurisdictions. This is the sort of insurance coverage that enables a person to seek reimbursement from their insurance company after an accident. Following an accident, injured drivers may sue the at-fault party for nearly any form of loss (injuries, emotional distress, lost wages, etc.) In no-fault states, tort insurance is frequently less expensive.

ACCIDENT-PRODUCING   DRIVERS

In jurisdictions such as Colorado, drivers who cause accidents utilise their insurance to pay for the medical costs of other wounded drivers. The fault is determined through the legal process, which is one of the many reasons you should consult with a lawyer after a car accident.

Colorado’s Minimum Insurance Requirements

Drivers in at-fault jurisdictions are required to have the bare minimum of insurance. The necessary minimum coverage amount is referred to as this.

The sum is usually divided down into:

The amount of coverage for each wounded individual The per-accident coverage amount

The per-accident property damage coverage amount

All drivers in Colorado are required by law to carry a specified level of insurance. The state of Colorado’s current minimum liability limits are 25/50/15, which means:

$25,000 in bodily injury insurance (per person)

$50,000 per accident

$15,000 in property damage repairs.

In the case of a collision, auto insurance protects both drivers. It covers one driver’s damages while preventing the other from paying for them out of pocket. You may face fines, penalties, and possibly licence revocation if you drive without the appropriate insurance in Colorado.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DAMAGES SURPASS THE AMOUNT COVERED BY THE AT-FAULT DRIVER’S INSURANCE?

Injured parties have the right to sue the at-fault motorist for the difference if losses exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage level.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE AT-FAULT DRIVER ISN’T COVERED?

What happens if the at-fault motorist in Colorado does not have insurance? If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), an attorney may assist you in filing a claim with your insurer. Extra coverage choices such as UM and UIM are offered on car insurance contracts.

An Overview of the Different Types of Auto Insurance in Colorado

Understanding how various forms of car insurance in Colorado operate might be challenging. Policyholders, fortunately, have some alternatives when it comes to the amount of insurance coverage they choose.

Here’s a quick rundown of each form of car insurance.

Liability insurance covers medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, property damage, and wrongful death.

Collision coverage: Covers damage to your car; you’ll be reimbursed for the lesser of (a) the full value of your car, (b) the cost of repairing your car, or (c) the sum specified on the insurance declaration page.

Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your car caused by events other than a collision (i.e., weather damage or vandalism.)

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Pays for damage to a car caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance.

Some insurance companies try to avoid paying their claims in a fair manner.

It’s very uncommon for insurance companies to avoid paying car accident victims properly for their losses. Many of these businesses utilise deceptive business practices to keep you from getting the pay you deserve.

Denying claims without providing a reason Intentionally undervaluing a claim

Failing to communicate immediately

Taking an excessive amount of time to settle a claim Failing to adequately examine a claim

CAR ACCIDENTS: WHO’S TO BLAME?

Remember how we stated you might hire an attorney to assist you in proving blame in the aftermath of an accident? This is when it gets interesting. Lawyers have a lot of expertise in examining situations and proving their client’s innocence. Whether you’re seeking to settle with an insurance company or file a lawsuit, an attorney can assist you in establishing proof of carelessness.

EVIDENCE THAT MAY BE USED TO PROVE A PERSON’S GUILT

Several types of evidence may be used to establish guilt in a case. If you were injured in a car accident, you might be able to show who was at fault using evidence such as:

photos and videos of the accident

photos and videos of the damage caused by accident (injuries, property damage, etc.)

Testimony of witnesses

Expert views (auto industry specialists) Police reports

Cell phone data

Expert reconstructions of crashes

WHAT KINDS OF DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER IN COLORADO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, they can assist you in pursuing compensation. Nonetheless, the amount of compensation you seek is dependent on how you feel during and after the event. The following are some instances of damages that are often sought:

Medical expenses: Medical bills from the accident in the past, present, and future

Diminished earning capacity: If someone is permanently unable to make as much money as they did before their injury, they may be entitled to compensation (if they are forced to change careers, for example)

Pain and suffering Mental suffering

Loss of pleasure of life Damage to property

If You’re in a Car Accident, Here’s What You Should Do Keep an eye on the accident scene.

First and foremost, we want to emphasise the importance of staying at the site of an car accident. This is considered a crime in several circumstances.

If you’ve filed an accident report with the police, everyone engaged in the accident has gotten proper medical attention, and you’ve traded driver information with any other drivers involved in the accident, you may be confident it’s safe to leave.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE SAFE

After an accident, you should not move if you have severe pain in your head, neck, or back. Stay still and wait for assistance.

If you can move after a collision, make sure you get out of injure’s path. If it is not safe to do so, remain away from traffic or your car.

ENSURE THE SAFETY OF EVERYONE ELSE

You should treat everyone else in the accident with the same care you did. Check to see whether anybody else was injured in the collision, and if they were, get them to a safe place to wait for medical aid.

MAKE A 911 CALL (OR A LOCAL NON-EMERGENCY NUMBER)

If your accident was mild and didn’t result in any injuries, some regions have signage with the local non-emergency number for non-emergency accidents. In general, though, calling 911 after an car collision is a smart idea. You’ll be connected to an operator who will evaluate your requirements and dispatch the appropriate parties to the scene of the accident. The police may arrive to take a complaint and assist with cleanup; medical first responders are often summoned to accidents.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS

Take pictures of the accident site. After everything has settled down, take images and videos of injuries, property damage, and the accident site itself. Evidence will often be found around the collision scene that many people may miss. For example, keep an eye out for skid tracks on the road or damage to surrounding buildings.

EXCHANGE DATA WITH OTHER DRIVERS

It’s a good idea to exchange information with other drivers involved in the collision as long as everyone is safe. This information includes:

Your name

Your insurance information Your driver’s licence information Your licence plate number

Your car’s make and model.

You’ll need this information to submit a claim or start working with an attorney on a case. If you can’t get driver information, don’t panic—it occurs all the time—but attempt to get it if you can.

GATHER INFORMATION FROM WITNESSES.

Unfortunately, you can’t always trust the police to gather information from witnesses following an accident. This is particularly true if the accident-related injuries do not seem to be life-threatening. However, witness evidence may still be crucial in a lawsuit, thus having contact information for witnesses is essential. If possible, get contact information from witnesses at the accident site. It may come in handy later.

SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE.

Following an car collision, it’s critical to get medical treatment. Depending on the accident and your injuries, you may get medical assistance at the site or be sent to a hospital for emergency care.

It’s critical to schedule an appointment with your doctor, regardless of how long you’ve been in the hospital (or if you haven’t been at all). Your doctor may inspect you for symptoms of injuries that aren’t showing up right away, and  they may answer any concerns you have regarding the healing process.

Following an accident, a visit to your doctor is also necessary to keep your doctor up to speed on your physical condition.

Locate a Reputable Car Accident Attorney

You do not need to hire a lawyer following a car accident, but it may be quite beneficial. We constantly advise accident victims to take advantage of the free consultations offered by most accident lawyers. You do not need to pay anything to learn more about your possible lawsuit and ask questions about your rights. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking this chance!

Find a lawyer who has a lot of expertise handling car accident claims.

Finding a lawyer with local expertise and a detailed understanding of your state’s rules

Finding a lawyer who has spent time in court, just in case your case ends up there.

Remember: You are not obligated to engage an attorney just because you spoke with one. You have the option of attending many consultations before deciding on the best attorney for your case and requirements.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO HANDLE A CAR ACCIDENT CASE WITHOUT A LAWYER?

If you want the best outcome, don’t do it. While many individuals in Colorado resolve their car accident cases without the assistance of a lawyer, we recommend that you work with one since insurance companies are eager to take advantage of accident victims who do not have legal representation. If you’re on your own, getting reasonable, or any, compensation will be far more difficult.

A skilled car accident attorney may be able to assist you or a loved one if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was not your fault. Car accident attorneys have a lot of expertise assisting clients with a wide variety of issues, so you may turn to them for aid no matter your situation.

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