Understanding DUI Accident Insurance Claims
Impaired driving is a serious problem on Colorado’s roads. According to statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation, impaired drivers cause about 6,000 crashes each year.
These accidents cause around 60 fatalities and over 3,000 injuries each year. If you were injured by a drunk driver, you need to understand DUI accident insurance claims.
Does the Driver’s Insurance Policy Cover the Accident?
After a collision, the responsible driver responsible must pay out claims using their insurance policy.
Colorado requires that drivers carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in liability insurance. These amounts should cover injuries sustained from the responsible driver.
However, some insurance policies do not cover intentional misconduct. Instead, they only cover the driver if he or she was negligent, meaning careless. For example, an insurance policy will pay if you hit someone because you failed to look in your rearview mirror when backing up, but they will not pay insurance claims if you intentionally strike someone.
But how do insurance companies handle DUI accident insurance claims?
If the driver was intoxicated or high, then the insurance company might claim that this is intentional misconduct, which is not covered by the policy. In this situation, the injured victim is in a tight spot because the insurance policy might be the only assets the driver has.
Does the Driver Have Other Assets?
If the driver’s insurance policy will not cover the drunk driving crash, then you can only get compensation if you can seize the defendant’s other assets. For example, you can garnish his or her wages, or you might be able to seize and sell real estate or personal property.
Finding assets that a defendant has is a complicated task. Your Denver car accident lawyer can discuss the process with you. Unfortunately, some drivers might not really have any other assets, which means you might not receive any compensation for your injuries.
Are You Suing for Exemplary Damages?
Exemplary damages, also called “punitive damages,” are designed to punish defendants for particularly serious conduct. Under Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-102, a defendant might pay exemplary damages if they were reckless or heedless in how they acted.
Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer might tack on a request for exemplary damages after a DUI accident. In those cases, the at-fault driver’s insurer probably will not cover them even if you win. So, again, the defendant needs to have sufficient assets apart from their insurance policy.
Injured in a DUI Accident? Speak to Attorney Steve Roberts
Drunk drivers cause unimaginable damage each year on Colorado’s roads.
To hold a drunk driver accountable, you should consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. This lawsuit will be separate from any criminal proceeding brought by the state.
Attorney Steve Roberts has years of experience representing injured motorists involved in gruesome, drunk driving-related crashes. He has also negotiated with most of Colorado’s large insurance companies.
To schedule a free consultation, please reach out to him today. You have nothing to lose.