Options for Colorado Riders Involved in an Auto Accident
A car accident can be minor or major, and sometimes those most seriously injured were not even driving the car. Passengers who suffer injury due to a collision have no liability for the accident and should not be penalized by being made responsible for paying their own medical expenses and related bills.
How can they get compensated for their injuries?
Filing a Third-Party Claim
Passengers can receive compensation for their injuries by filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. They might even be able to file multiple claims if more than two cars were involved.
Third-party claims can be filed to collect damages for a variety of injuries, including:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost income
- Diminishment of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
In order to receive compensation for auto accident injuries in Colorado, a passenger will have to prove that one or both drivers were negligent and caused the accident. While this could be a relatively easy case to make, the drawback is that insurance claims and settlements in personal injury cases typically take time.
What should passengers do in the meantime? Medical payments coverage could be the answer, covering accident-related medical expenses while the claim is being processed.
Accessing Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage, commonly known as MedPay, is coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy that will pay accident-related medical bills up to a specific limit chosen by you. MedPay will cover you and whoever else is riding in your vehicle in the event of an accident no matter who was at fault, making claim-processing (and getting bills paid) that much faster.
While typical medical pay limits can fall anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000, in Colorado, insurance companies must include a minimum of $5,000 of medical payments coverage on all automobile insurance policies. Consumers may refuse MedPay if they do so in writing, or in whatever manner they applied for the policy.
MedPay coverage is usually relatively inexpensive and will pay your bills immediately — no co-pays, deductibles, or limits on what providers can administer treatment. However, in the case of a serious accident with multiple injuries, it may not take long for MedPay coverage to be exhausted, whether or not your accident-related bills are all paid.
Utilizing Umbrella Policies
Personal umbrella liability insurance will protect a policyholder against a catastrophic accident by increasing the coverage provided under their homeowners, renters, and auto insurance policies.
If you are deemed at fault for an accident that severely injures or kills a passenger, the injured party’s injuries may exceed the limits of your automobile insurance. An umbrella policy provides another layer of protection that would pay damages that exceed the limits of your underlying policy.
Although passengers don’t typically have any responsibility for an auto accident and shouldn’t be penalized for something they didn’t cause, they often suffer injuries for which they deserve compensation. With the assistance of a qualified Colorado personal injury attorney, obtaining this compensation can be a reality.