How Often Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits in Colorado?
How Often Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits in Colorado?

How Often Do Auto Accident Settlements Exceed the Policy Limits in Colorado?

It's uncommon for car accident victims to get a settlement higher than the liability insurance limit. However, it does happen sometimes.
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It’s uncommon for car accident victims to get a settlement higher than the liability insurance limit. However, it does happen sometimes. Generally, this is only possible when the plaintiff has compelling evidence to support their claims of injury, loss, and damages.

If you sustained injuries in a car accident, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible and how to secure additional compensation as financial recovery. Read on for free legal advice on pursuing fair compensation for damages after a Colorado car accident.

How Can I Get Compensation That Exceeds a Policy Limit?

Generally speaking, insurance companies seldom agree to pay more than a policy limit. However, there are a few scenarios when your attorney could help you get compensation above the policy limit. Here are a few examples:

Your Attorney Can Settle Directly With the At-Fault Driver

It’s possible to reach a settlement where the insurance company pays their policy maximum, and the at-fault driver pays the rest. They would agree to cover the difference between your claim amount and the insurance settlement with their assets. However, this can only happen if the at-fault driver has funds or assets available to compensate you.

File a Claim Through Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This is one of the easiest ways to secure compensation in addition to the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) is optional in Colorado. If you have this coverage, you could file a claim through your insurance policy to recover for further damages.

If you have UM/UIM coverage in Colorado, that will pay for the following:

  • Bodily injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver
  • A driver with no insurance
  • A driver with insufficient insurance

It usually takes the place of the insurance the at-fault driver is supposed to have but doesn’t. Or, it can protect you when the at-fault driver’s vehicle is insured, but injury liability limits are less than your UM/UIM coverage. Under Colorado law, any insurer who provides UM/UIM providers must match the policyholder’s liability coverage for bodily injuries. One last note is that UM/UIM does not cover damage to your vehicle.

Going to Trial and Winning an Award

If your car accident case goes to trial, the jury doesn’t care about the insurance limit. Therefore, they may award the plaintiff an amount higher than the at-fault driver’s coverage limits. Let’s say you go to court, and the jury delivers a verdict giving you more than the policy limit. In that case, the defendant (or at-fault driver) would need to cover the difference. Sometimes, they face a lien or seizure of their assets to ensure your compensation.

Are Some Injuries More Likely to Secure Compensation Above Policy Limits?

Yes. The most common type of damage recovery in car accident claims is “compensatory damages.” Meaning as a car accident injury victim, you can recover compensation for any losses you endured because of the accident. You might be entitled to higher compensation than the policy limit if you sustained more serious injuries. Injuries that may lead to a higher settlement include:

  • Severe or catastrophic injuries
  • Injuries that leave you with life-long impairment or permanent damage
  • Spinal cord injuries that resulted in paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries (or TBI)
  • Lost or amputated limbs
  • Scarring and disfiguration
  • Injuries that require hospitalization, surgery, ongoing rehab, in-home support, or nursing care

If you sustained a minor injury that healed rather quickly and didn’t require any significant medical care, it’s unlikely you’ll win a payout higher than the policy limit.

It’s Difficult to Secure a Settlement That Exceeds a Policy Limit

Even with severe injuries, you must provide compelling evidence that your claim is worth more than the liability insurance limit. For this reason, you’re better off working with a Denver Car Accident Attorney than trying to handle your claim independently. In addition, your odds of getting a higher payout are better with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in this process.

Let’s say you have severe injuries requiring medical expenses that are more than the insurance company’s settlement offer. In that case, you should focus on recovering and getting your life back to normal. Luckily, your attorney could handle dealings with insurance companies and guide you through the process. That will make you feel less stressed about the legal proceedings and focus on healing.

Is It Worth It to Hire a Denver Car Accident Lawyer?

Yes. Since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, you won’t pay unless we win the case. Furthermore, most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations to understand your case details better and decide if it’s worth pursuing. If you hire an experienced Denver Car Accident Attorney, they can help you recover fair compensation. This might be necessary to cover the bills you incurred after the accident.

Other ways an attorney can help you:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident
  • Gathering strong evidence to help build a solid case for you
  • Filing a claim or lawsuit on your behalf and handling communications with insurance companies
  • Helping you file a claim based on your own UM/UIM coverage and handling tedious paperwork
  • Ensuring you file a claim within the Colorado statute of limitations

Contact an Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today

Free Consultations

Contact our Denver personal injury lawyers if you or a loved one:

  • Sustained severe or catastrophic injuries in an accident
  • Were involved in an accident where the at-fault driver was underinsured or uninsured

We can assist you in obtaining the fair compensation you deserve. With a proven track record and an esteemed legal reputation, we are one of the leading personal injury firms in the area.

Furthermore, we handle every client’s case with a compassionate and human approach. We understand how difficult and stressful the aftermath of a car accident can be, especially when caused by someone else’s negligence. That’s why we are here to help.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation, or call (720)500-HURT.

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