It seems like common sense, if you are injured in a car accident, the person responsible for the accident should pay you for your damages- you should not have to pay. All drivers in Colorado are required to have at least $25,000 of insurance per person combined with $50,000 per accident. However, it is a common occurrence that the at-fault driver does not have any insurance- and even more common- does not have an adequate amount of insurance to fully compensate you . This is where Colorado’s Resident Relative Statute may help.
So what do you do?
Well, hopefully you read our other blog post on the importance of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM) and you are able to claim those legally entitled benefits.
But what if you did not have UM/UIM at the time?
Fortunately, Colorado is one of a handful states that recognizes Resident Relative Coverage. Colorado Revised Statute § 10-4-601(13) defines a “resident relative” as a person who, “at the time of the accident, is related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the named insured or resident spouse and who resides in the named insured’s household, even if temporarily living elsewhere”
Additionally, the code defines “insured” to include “relatives of the name insured who reside in the same household as the named insured.” C.R.S. § 10-4-601(5).
So how does this help you?
Well… if you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver and you don’t have UM/UIM yourself, Colorado allows you to use the insurance policy of a resident relative. If any resident relative has UM/UIM on their policy, you are able to “claim benefits” under their policy and receive additional compensation for your damages even though they had nothing to do with the accident.
The best part about it… insurers are prohibited from raising your rates or canceling coverage in response to you exercising your rights to a UM/UIM claim. If an insurance company does take any such retaliatory action, you are able to file a claim of “bad faith insurance practices” against the insurance company and you might be entitled to additional damages.
If you, a friend, or a family member find yourself in a like situation, call Matlin Injury Law. An attorney is standing by 24/7 to take your call, answer any questions, and provide you with the best guidance for you to execute a successful claim. When you need help, you need the best, call Colorado’s Premier Injury Law Firm- Matlin Injury Law.
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