AUTO ACCIDENT FAQ
How will I afford the medical treatment I need?
Under Colorado law, the at-fault party must pay your medical expenses. If the at-fault party has a bodily injury auto policy, it may cover the costs of your care. However, because a lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical bills may take time, your health insurance carrier may cover medical expenses related to the accident while you await the resolution of your case.
What damages may I be able to recover?
In motor vehicle accident cases, plaintiffs generally may be able to recover damages for economic loss, non-economic loss, and physical impairment. Economic damages include compensation for past medical expenses resulting from the defendant’s negligence, future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, impaired earning capacity, and related out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic damages on the other hand are intended to compensate the injured party for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconveniences associated with the incident in question, and emotional distress. Compensation for physical impairment and disfigurement may be awarded for physical disabilities, scars, loss of limb, burns, etc.
What if the driver who hit me does not have insurance?
You likely purchased Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage when you purchased your own automobile insurance coverage. Colorado requires your insurance provider to include this coverage in your policy unless you specifically decline the coverage in writing. Your UM Coverage provides coverage for your losses, medical bills, and injuries when the driver of the vehicle that caused the action has no insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage or is under-insured. If you own and insure more than one vehicle and depending on when your policies were issued, you may have UM/UIM coverage under multiple policies that can be combined (stacked) for additional coverage.
If your health insurance company has covered any of the costs of treatment associated with your injury, it will likely have a right to reimbursement under the terms of your insurance policy. Many health insurance providers have subrogation rights, or rights to pursue third parties who cause loss to their insured for which the health insurance company has paid. Generally, medical expenses incurred as a result of medical negligence and paid for by your insurance carrier will be reimbursed by the at-fault party’s insurance provider or from any settlement recovered from the at-fault individual.