Colorado law requires automobile owners to have insurance. Car insurance policies have policy limits that dictate how much an individual is entitled to for injuries and property damage after a car accident. In some cases, policy limits may not be enough to cover the expenses incurred after your accident.
So after a crash, you may wonder, How often do auto accident settlements exceed the policy limits in Colorado? This is a valid concern. But keep in mind that while policy limits are strict, there may be other ways to seek more compensation if your claim exceeds these policy limits.
After a car accident, The Tenge Law Firm, LLC., is ready to help you get the financial compensation you need.
Auto Accident Requirements in Colorado
Colorado drivers are legally required to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage required by the state includes:
- $25,000: bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident;
- $50,000: bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident; and
- $15,000: property damage in any one accident.
This is only the minimum and higher coverage is always available. Additional types of coverage are also available, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Options for Additional Compensation
After an accident, injured parties are entitled to the policy limits. Taking the above as an example, if an individual were to have the minimum coverage, this would mean an injured party would be entitled to up to $25,000 for their injuries—assuming they had accrued that much or more in damages. Insurance companies may offer a settlement, but these settlements are often low and do not exceed policy limits.
If your claim exceeds the policy limits, some additional options may be available for more compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
The at-fault driver’s insurance company pays you because that is what the insurance is for. However, the at-fault driver is ultimately the one responsible for your injuries. Therefore, if your claim exceeds policy limits, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover the excess you are owed.
However, keep in mind that not all of us have large sums of cash available to pay out judgments. So the individual’s financial situation factors into the question of whether or not a lawsuit against them is worth pursuing.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Multiple Parties
If multiple parties are responsible for your accident, you may be able to recover under more than one insurance policy.
For instance, if the driver of a pizza delivery vehicle caused an accident that injured you while in the course of their job duties, you may be able to sue the pizza company as well as the driver. A car accident lawyer can review your case to determine whether you can seek compensation from more than one individual.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Insurance Company for Bad Faith
Colorado law requires insurance companies to settle within the policy limits if they are able to do so. In some cases, insurance companies may refuse to pay when your claim exceeds policy limits.
If the insurer does not make any effort to settle, you can file a lawsuit against them for bad faith. Your claim may go to court, and if a jury awards you more than the policy limits, the insurance company will need to pay whatever amount the jury dictates.
Statute of Limitations to File a Lawsuit
While you may wish to file a lawsuit to obtain more compensation, keep in mind you will not have an unlimited amount of time to do so. Statutes of limitations exist to limit the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. So, for example, if your accident occured on May 1, 2020, you would have until May 1, 2022 to file your lawsuit.
If you fail to file your claim within the two-year period, you will likely forfeit all of your rights to compensation. Having the help of a car accident lawyer will help ensure your lawsuit is filed timely and handled properly.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Colorado Car Accident Attorney
If your claim exceeds policy limits, it is wise to seek the help of a skilled Colorado car accident lawyer. An attorney will be able to review your case, answer your questions, and determine what the best course of action is for your particular situation.
If filing a lawsuit is in your best interest, your attorney will fight aggressively to protect your rights and get you on the road to financial recovery. Navigating these kinds of claims can be challenging, but a car accident attorney is your best ally.
The Tenge Law Firm, LLC., is a boutique law firm dedicated to helping injured clients during their time of need.
In our many years of experience, we have had the privilege of providing quality legal services, care, and compassion to countless clients. We take on fewer cases to be able to provide clients with the personalized attention they deserve. Our firm offers free case reviews. Contact us today, and let’s discuss how we can help you.