Handling an Auto Accident in Denver with a Driver Without Insurance
May 25, 2016
Being involved in an auto accident in Denver is stressful enough, let along if you are in one with an uninsured driver. According to the Insurance Information Institute, one in eight drivers do not have auto insurance, which is 12.6 percent of all drivers. What happens when you are involved in a wreck with someone that is not insured?
Colorado Auto Insurance Laws: When it comes to having auto insurance, Colorado drivers, at minimum, must have liability car insurance. This coverage at least covers the other person in an accident. Drivers also can have the option to purchase uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist covers for their plan to cover their expenses if involved in an accident with uninsured driver or hit and run.
Tort System: Each state’s auto insurance laws vary. For Colorado, the state runs under a “tort” system, which means that there must be fault established prior to an insurance company paying for a claim. Whoever is at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying. If you are the one at fault, your insurance will pay.
Options for Proceeding: When an accident happens, the driver with insurance working with the person without insurance has two options. First, they can sue. Second, they can submit a claim for uninsured motorist benefits with their insurance company. This can be disastrous for the uninsured driver because they are now responsible for all expenses, which will most likely be hard or impossible for them to pay as one of the top reasons they didn’t have insurance in the first place was due to money. For the driver that is uninsured and at fault, sometimes agreements can be worked out for payment plans to make paying the bill a little more manageable.
Actions: Immediately contact your insurance company after the accident to allow them to file the uninsured driver claim. You must at least within 30 days. However, unfortunately, if your insurance company does not agree with the claim, you cannot file a lawsuit against them. You can have arbitration (using a third party to try to come to an agreement) but all in all it just depends on the situation. That being said, a premier solution and what many people do is to protect themselves with uninsured motorist coverage.
Penalties: If you are caught driving without insurance, you can run the risk of suspension of your driver’s license or vehicle registration and an insurance ticket. You also risk your insurance going up as well. Driving without insurance is dangerous, expensive and can ruin the quality of life as you will be possibly thousands of dollars in debt. It is best to always have it.
When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, the local law office of Mark A. Simon is your go-to Denver auto accident attorney. Learn more about your auto options and compensation through our auto accident section, and give us a call to get started.