How to Prepare for a Car Accident

You really need to know what to do to prepare for a car accident, obviously, in advance of the accident itself.  The purpose of this article is try to cover some basics as to what you need to do to protect yourself before an accident happens.

This is all about car insurance. It’s all about what kind of coverage you have and how you  can protect yourself, right now, today, before any accident happens. The bottom line question in this area is, what can you do to protect yourself from the “other guy.” This means the at-fault driver who causes a crash, hits you and injures you, affecting your life, your work and likely even affecting your relationships. What can you specifically do, right now? Today?

Whether it’s a hit and run, a driver whose insurance has “expired,” a driver who doesn’t carry enough insurance and/or any accident and/or any other type of irresponsible driver, you must do the following:

  1. You need to contact your own car insurance company and increase your med pay (meaning medical payments coverage) to the highest amount you can afford and to the highest amount that your insurance company provides. Please note: Some insurance companies don’t provide any more than the  $5,000 statutory minimum.  Other companies provide, for example $25,000 of coverage,

$50,000 of coverage and some even go as high as $100, 000 of coverage. This is for payment of your medical bills. This is critical and essential.

The question you might have is: Why would I have medical payments coverage through my own car insurance company when I have other “health insurance” and I can get my medical bills paid that way? The simple answer is that there is a relatively new Statute in Colorado mandating that the car insurance companies have no rights of subrogation against your recovery against the at-fault driver. This means that your car insurance company has to pay your medical bills, but you do not have to pay them back once you recover from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you have other regular “health insurance,” there’s a substantial likelihood that you would have to pay part or  all of the medical bills back to your Health Insurance Company, by taking that money out of your pocket  and giving it back  to the insurance company.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Call us for a free case evaluation.

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The math is simple. Wouldn’t you rather have coverage for your medical bills in a situation where you do not have to pay them back to the Company who paid the medical bills as opposed to having to pay them back. An example is in order. The example is this: Suppose you’re injured in a car crash. Your medical bills are $18,000. You have medical payments coverage with your own car insurance company in the amount of $25,000. Let’s assume you recover $50,000 from the at-fault driver. If this were a health insurance company, as opposed to your car insurance company, you might have to pay either part or all of the $18,000 in medical bills out of your $50,000 recovery back. When you use “med pay,” with your own car insurance company, you have no obligation to pay them back any money from your recovery from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You keep   the money.

  1. You must have the highest  “UM” and “UIM” coverage  that  you can afford.  UM stands for Uninsured Motorist Coverage and UIM stands for Under Insured Motorist Coverage.

Let’s discuss UM first. When a driver hits you, and that driver has no car insurance, that is a “UM” (uninsured motorist) situation and event. This means that you are not going to collect any insurance money from the at-fault driver. This also means that the only place you have left to go for insurance recovery, in this example, isyour own car insurance company, namely the “UM” coverage. That will pay for your injuries, damages and losses. Don’t’ you think it is important that you have the highest “UM” and “UIM”coverage that you can afford because that is many times the only insurance money available, usually, to pay you for your injuries, damages and losses.

Next let’s talk about “UIM.” “UIM” stands for “underinsured motorist” coverage. This means that if the at-fault driver who hit you and injured you does not have enough insurance to pay you for your damages, injuries and losses, then you must collect whatever insurance amount that the at-fault driver’s insurance company has, after which time you make a claim against your own car insurance company for the “UIM” coverage. Therefore this “UIM” coverage also pays you for your injuries, damages and losses. Assuming that the at-fault driver has only the statutory minimum of $25,000  of coverage  and  assuming  that  your  medical  bills  are  $60,000  and  your  case is worth $200,000, then you are never going to get it from the insurance company covering the at-fault party because they only have an obligation to pay up to the $25,000 limit of coverage. Where else do you go? You go to your own “UIM” coverage to pay you the rest of the money for your damages, injuries and losses. If you don’t have the “UIM” coverage then you get nothing paid for your injuries, damages and losses from your insurance company. If you do have “UIM” coverage, then you can make a claim for payment for your injuries, damages and losses.

Although this article can’t cover each and every thing that you must do or every step that you must take to protect yourself before a car accident, it covers some of the major points with regard to car insurance before a car accident, a truck accident, or other trauma occurs.

GOOD LUCK!

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Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

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Case Results

WE KNOW HOW TO WIN

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000

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