How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?

Get Personal Injury Settlement as a Passenger

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

March 24, 2021

INJURED AS A PASSENGER IN A COLORADO SPRINGS CAR ACCIDENT

If you’re wounded in an car accident, you need answers to your inquiries while a passenger is in someone else’s car. You must know who will be responsible for paying your doctor’s bills and medication charges.

You’re worried about how you’ll pay your expenses if you can’t work. When your money runs out, who will feed your family? Will your financial issues worsen if you are disabled for a lengthy time? You’ll need to know how much money you can collect and who will pay to answer these and other crucial questions.

Car accident injury claims in Colorado are complicated. The state’s laws prevent minor injury victims from collecting anything more than their out-of-pocket expenditures. When you’ve been gravely hurt, you’ll have to jump through a lot of legal hoops to get your money back.

If you fulfil the legal requirements for filing a responsibility claim, there’s a good chance the careless motorist who hit you was uninsured at the time.

After you’ve been injured, take care of these problems as soon as feasible. Working with a car accident attorney is typically the quickest method to receive the information you want.

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HOW MUCH WILL I BE COMPENSATED FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES AND LOST WAGES?

That is one of the most straightforward questions to answer. Colorado’s statutory medical payments coverage coverage provides you with up to $5,000 in compensation to cover your injury-related expenditures.

Colorado is one of the country’s few remaining no-fault states. When you’re wounded in a car accident, it’s a system that gives you instant financial advantages. To collect the money you need for out-of-pocket expenditures, you don’t have to file a responsibility claim or sue a careless motorist. Medical payments coverage covers your fees and expenditures as long as you seek medical care within 14 days of the event.

Each car owner must acquire a car insurance policy that includes medical payments coverage with a minimum amount of $5,000. Up to the medical payments coverage maximum, the car insurance provides per-accident payments.

  • You will be reimbursed 80% of your medical expenses.
  • 60% of your lost earnings
  • The cost of services
  • A death benefit of $5,000

WHEN YOU’RE A PASSENGER, WHOSE MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE INSURANCE APPLIES?

You must get medical payments coverage if you own a car and reside in Colorado. When you’re hurt in an accident, even as a passenger, it’s your insurance that comes first.

If you don’t own a car and don’t have medical payments coverage, you may be able to get medical payments coverage compensation from other car owners in your neighborhood. If you have a resident relative by blood or marriage who owns a car and has medical payments coverage insurance, that policy will pay your compensation.

 If no alternative medical payments coverage benefits are available, the insurance carrier for the car you were a passenger of becomes primary.

WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO IN COMPENSATION FOR PAIN, SUFFERING, AND OTHER DAMAGES?

If medical payments coverage is inadequate to cover the full amount of your losses, which is frequent after a major accident, you may need to file a claim against the at-fault motorist for further compensation.

Although settlement amounts vary, whatever amount you get above and above your out-of-pocket expenditures considers the severity of your injuries, present or anticipated future disability, and other health conditions.

Another key element is your way of living. Claim assessors evaluate damages more highly for a successful businessman with a wife and family than for an unemployed single man with no assets.

When it comes to damaged settlements, it’s important to think about what you can and can’t do if you’ve been wounded. When you live a full life, you accumulate a long list of lost chances, increasing the worth of your claim.

In the end, settlement values for these and other noneconomic/general losses are negotiated.

  • Suffering and pain
  • Mental suffering 
  • Spousal and family relationships deteriorate 
  • Permanent impairments 
  • Scars and deformity

The concerned insurers and responsible parties must work through the relevant problems before getting a settlement based on general damages.

WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE CAR ACCIDENT?

Insurance companies conduct investigations to identify who is responsible for an accident. Police agencies and emergency personnel provide them with written reports. They photograph the accident site after inspecting it. They examine the car damage to see how the collision corresponds to the injury claimed. They obtain testimony from witnesses, drivers, and other individuals who have firsthand knowledge. They accept your witness account since you were a passenger, yet they consider you a biassed witness.

After conducting an inquiry, an insurance company determines whether its insured is legally responsible for your injuries. Because Colorado is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, those determining culpability often split the fault between two or more drivers.

That means both the other driver’s and the driver of the car in which you were a passenger’s insurance must finally agree that one or both of your claims should be settled. They must next determine who caused the accident, assuming they reach an agreement to share the blame.

ARE YOUR INJURIES SERIOUS ENOUGH TO BE EXEMPT FROM TORT?

Colorado politicians enacted the no-fault legislation to discourage persons with minor injuries from filing lawsuits. Only persons who have suffered significant injuries may launch a claim or lawsuit against a negligent party under existing state rules.

You have no legal entitlement to general damages unless your harm reaches or surpasses one of these levels.

A significant and irreversible loss of a vital biological function.

Medical likelihood of permanent damage

Significant scarring or deformity that is permanent.

Death

Only the medical bills, wage losses, and expenditures due by the appropriate Medical payments coverage insurance are paid if you have only mild injuries.

THERE ISN’T A SET AMOUNT FOR A BODILY INJURY SETTLEMENT

If you know anybody who has resolved a car accident claim, you know that there is no such thing as a conventional settlement figure. Settlements for bodily injuries are problematic since there are no fixed rules.

While one insurer considers it generous to pay $20,000 for an injury claim, another believes it is justifiable to pay half that amount, or not none at all.

Insurers operate inside a system where they are solely responsible for themselves until you file a case. They can make responsible judgments on their behalf because of their contractual connections with their insurers. Insurers have the freedom to pay or refuse to settle lawsuits as long as they follow the state’s Unfair Claim Practices Act.

INSURERS HAVE THEIR OWN RULES FOR SETTLING CLAIMS

The claim departments of insurance companies have a lot of inconsistency. Each insurance firm has its methods and processes for conducting investigations. Each company uniquely teaches its claim handlers. Certain smaller insurers use only independent claim agencies or contractors.

Large commercial firms may be unpredictable since they sometimes self-insure their liability risks. To settle their liability claims, they often recruit their claim personnel. Negotiating with a self-insured organization typically means dealing with the firm whose employee caused your injury.

The worth of your claim is intended to be unique to you and your way of life. It’s more often than not the ultimate consequence of the claim handling process’s twists and turns. Claim rules, settlement techniques, work experiences, and defense tactics vary widely across insurance firms. Any settlement offers you get from the responsible party’s insurance will be influenced by these.

REPRESENTATIVES FOR CLAIMS HAVE LITTLE CONTROL MOST OF THE TIME

Claim reps follow their employer’s policies while dealing with claims. Some insurers use automated assessment tools like Colussus to preserve claim uniformity across novice and expert claim adjusters.

The claim investigator gathers information, enters it into the system, and waits for the findings. They settle disputes based on computer-generated values, with little regard for the individuality of the wounded person. Some claim handlers continue to use algorithms, while others assess damage claims purely on gut instinct and expertise.

When you’re negotiating a settlement for a significant or catastrophic injury, you’re usually up against a group of individuals. You speak with a single claim representative, but a management team guides that representative.

Offers are made by the individual negotiating the claim. When you settle, that individual sends out the final releases, but management normally choreographs every offer or counter-offer throughout the process.

You take control of the settlement process when you conduct your discussions. You are the one who determines the value of your claim. You bargain with the insurers and come to an arrangement.

Regardless, whether you have past injury negotiating experience or professional legal knowledge, the process may be stressful.

Once your damages exceed the tort exemption level, both drivers are responsible for your losses based on their percentages of personal fault. That implies the insurance for the two drivers must finally agree on a value with you. They must also decide on a fair damage split.

This does not always occur in the manner in which it should. It puts you amid a process where you must negotiate culpability and damages with many insurance carriers as a passenger. If you can’t agree, you’ll either have to walk away empty-handed or launch a lawsuit.

You should know the culpability limitations of the liable parties before deciding to initiate a lawsuit. It sets the tone for your talks and affects future legal proceedings if you only have $50,000 in liability coverage.

ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION

To obtain a successful agreement on damages and responsibility, skilled negotiation is required. Settlements become much more difficult when there are two or more responsible parties and two or more insurers.

Legal representation makes a significant impact in most cases. Insurance companies recognize that if you represent yourself, you are likely unaware of the difficulties. They know you may not completely realize the worth of your case, which motivates them to seek a low-cost settlement; when they’re dealing with an attorney, the playing field shifts, and the conversation changes.

YOU MAY NEED TO FILE A LAWSUIT ON OCCASION

Even if your demand is acceptable, it’s common to grow dissatisfied with the bargaining process. Insurers often approach talks to exhaust you. They established a monetary reserve early in their study to create a maximum reimbursement for each injury claim.

They build up their reserves over time or if your damage is worse than expected. Despite their financial reserves, they bargain to save money everywhere they can. You still have alternatives if the games they play irritate you.

Even if you are hesitant to contact an attorney in the early stages of your claim, an attorney will be essential if your claim cannot be resolved informally. An attorney examines your case and recommends whether he should continue negotiating on your behalf or launch a lawsuit right now.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE OTHER DRIVER ISN’T COVERED?

In Colorado, uninsured motorist coverage is available, but it is not required. It’s vital when you’re in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have liability insurance. That is a genuine possibility in Colorado, according to information published by the Insurance Research Council. According to their findings, 26.7 percent of Colorado drivers do not have liability insurance.

When you have UM coverage on your MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE insurance, it covers for bodily injury damages due by a negligent party who is uninsured or underinsured.

Based on these conventional classifications, auto plans label the individual who caused your injuries was uninsured or underinsured.

A motorist who does not have bodily injury liability insurance or a bond in place at the time of the collision.

A hit-and-run motorist who flees the scene without being recognized 

A driver who has bodily injury liability coverage with a lesser amount than is legally needed

A motorist whose insurance company refuses to cover them or goes bankrupt.

UM and/or UIM coverage applies when you fulfill the criteria of an insured under your policy, a resident relative’s car insurance, or the policy that covers the car in which you are a passenger. Then, rather than dealing with the liable party or their insurance, you settle your damage claim with your own business.

SEEK THE ADVICE OF A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER JEREMY D. EARLE, JD

You must address guilt, damage, and coverage concerns as quickly as possible if you are injured while riding in someone else’s car. You shouldn’t take on these difficulties on your own. With Warrior, you will have someone representing you every step of the personal injury claim process if you meet with a personal injury law firm shortly after your accident.

Personal injury attorneys determine who is to blame and put them on notice. They assess their clients’ injuries, assist them in establishing reasonable compensation requests, and help them resolve their cases. When they hit a stalemate in talks, they should be prepared to take the battle to court.

When you speak with a car accident lawyer, you do not need to take action right away. You just describe your situation with the attorney, who then evaluates your legal alternatives before allowing you and the attorney to move together when you’re ready.

However, you should not wait too long—the law restricts the amount of time you have to take action, and waiting too long might make your case much more difficult to prosecute, so contact a car accident lawyer right once.

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