Are You on the Road to Disaster?

by Mark Ellis Biddison on Jan. 04, 2021

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident 

Summary: Don't be caught short when you need Uninsured Motorist or Under Insured Motorist insurance benefits.

Are You On The Road To Disaster?

You may be happily driving down the highway, but have no idea that you are actually on the Road to Disaster. This article will inform you about the importance of reviewing your automobile insurance coverage, immediately.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Administration, there were 5,687,000 motor vehicle crashes in America in 2013, of which 1,591,000 were injury-causing crashes, and 30,057 involved fatalities. One third of the fatal crashes were caused by drunk drivers.

What if you are one of the millions of motorists who will be involved in a motor vehicle crash in 2021? Do you know what your insurance does and does not cover? Do you know whether you have the right coverage? Enough coverage?

We have seen the effects of thousands of motor vehicle collisions, and represented thousands of clients. Sadly, all too often, the pain, suffering, distress, loss of income, is magnified by the failure to have the proper types and amounts of insurance coverage. Too often, the decision to save a few dollars a month on insurance premiums, costs the victim of a drunk driver thousands of dollars, because of inadequate medical payment benefits, and frequently inadequate uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage.

Space constraints prohibit setting forth a comprehensive primer on handling auto crash claims, and the many related insurance ramifications, but let us consider an all too familiar scenario:

Ms Sally Driver is a single, successful, self-employed woman, earning an average of $150,000 per year. She has two small children, a nice car, and a sizeable mortgage on a home she recently purchased.

Sally is in the left turn lane, with a green light, waiting to turn. As she begins her turn, a drunk driver runs the red light, slamming into her car. Sally is knocked unconscious briefly, and complains of dizziness, severe pain in her left shoulder and neck, as well as bruises and burns to her face from the air bag. At the hospital, Sally is diagnosed as having suffered a concussion, severe whiplash injuries to her neck, and a broken collar bone, in addition to the bruises and burns.

Sally is kept overnight at the hospital. She requires surgery to repair her collar bone; she undergoes weeks of physical therapy as well as cognitive therapy to deal with the fog in her head and the inability to recall things. Meanwhile, she is unable to work. Sally’s medical bills total $60,000. She has lost approximately $50,000 in income. She has experienced pain, suffering, and loss of ability to engage in the ordinary activities of life. Sally’s claim may well be worth a total of $250,000.

The at-fault driver had only a Colorado minimum liability policy of $25,000; not nearly enough to cover Sally’s losses.

Sally had a 100/300 UM/UIM policy, which means that there is an additional $100,000 in coverage available to Sally, but not enough to fully compensate her. Sally, however, had only the minimum $5,000 in medical pay coverage, which is typical in Colorado. Her auto policy paid the $5,000 to the hospital, leaving her to pay the remaining $55,000 in bills.

Sally submitted the remaining bills to her health insurance for payment. Now comes the rub – As part of her settlement, Sally may be required to reimburse her health insurance carrier.

The at-fault driver's insurance carrier has denied liability, and Sally's UIM carrier is disputing the value of her claim. Now she must hire an attorney to recover from both insurance carriers. After paying her attorney 30% of her recovery ($41,666), she will only receive a net of $83,334. If she had had $300,000 in UIM coverage, she may have been entitled to recover the full value of her claim.

Don’t get caught short. If you can afford to purchase higher UM/UIM coverage, do it. Don’t end up on the Road to Disaster.

If you have been invloved in a motor vehicle collision and need help recovering the maximum amount of available insurance benefits, call us at 303-443-6690.

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