Colorado Car Accident Fault-Based System
Posted on September 16, 2014
Deciding Who is Responsible for An Auto Accident
In any auto accident claim, the one of the most essential component is fault. The “individual at fault” is the individual whose carelessness brought about the accident, and this is the individual who usually must finance the damage produced by his or her carelessness (Gima, “Car Accident- Determining Who Is at Fault”).
If there is unclear or mutual fault in your situation, fault is then assigned between the people and resolved by the details of the regulations on comparative or contributory negligence in your state. When liability is distributed in an auto accident, the insurer must decide the qualified percentages of fault of the parties concerned.
What is a Fault-Based System?
Many states, including Colorado, have implemented a fault-based, or tort liability, auto insurance system (Gima, “Fault and No-Fault Car Accidents: Understanding State Liability Laws”). In this system, one party is legally obligated to a victim because of a civil wrong or injury (“Tort Liability”). This action demands some type of remedy from a court system. A tort liability occurs due to a mixture of a civic duty producing damage or an exclusive offense. Evidence must be assessed in a court hearing to ascertain who the tortfeasor, or responsible party in the case.
For a fault auto accident, insurance companies compensate in accordance with every party’s degree of fault (Gima, “Fault and No-Fault Car Accidents: Understanding State Liability Laws”). If you and your insurer disagree on your claim, you might have to file a lawsuit for unpaid financial damages like lost wages and medical expenses and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
How is it Different From a No-Fault System?
Unlike the fault system, when strictly applied, no-fault would completely remove any idea of fault from the civil tort system when handling auto accident claims (“No Fault Law & Legal Definition”). Under no-fault automobile insurance laws, the blameless driver is not required to establish that the crash was someone else’s fault prior to obtaining damages (Gima, “Fault and No-Fault Car Accidents: Understanding State Liability Laws”). His or her insurance company pays medical bills, treatment expenses, and lost wages up to the amount paid out. The exchange is the wounded individual cannot take legal action against the other driver for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and difficulty. If you reside in a no-fault state, your auto insurance policy’s no-fault segment is normally termed PIP or personal injury protection.
When it amounts to physical damage to your car or its contents, unlike payment for physical injury claims, insurance claims are nevertheless based on fault. Those claims are dealt with in the similar manner as those in a fault-law state: by filing a lawsuit against the injurious driver or relying on your own collision insurance.
This kind of law supports the insurance industry because it would elevate earnings by considerably elevating premiums and removing a key element of fair compensation for auto-accident victims, specifically, recuperation of non-economic losses (“No Fault Law & Legal Definition”). Luckily for drivers, no state has implemented an authentic no-fault system for auto accident claims, and more than a fee have exclusively refused such proposals. Instead, numerous states have accepted amendments of authentic no-fault. In a few states, a party’s own insurance finances medical and lost salary costs, and the victim cannot take legal action against the careless driver for non-economic damages if not or until a threshold had been attained of a certain dollar amount.
Colorado Auto Accident Laws
Present and Past Legislation
Since Colorado is currently a fault-based system, the at-fault driver, or the at-fault driver’s insurance, is liable for all damages that the victim suffers (“Colorado Car Accident Law: What Is A Fault-Based System?”). That consists of medical bills and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, unending injury and deformity.
Colorado was previously a no-fault system, and many states are still are. Therefore, your own insurance company is the main, or care, provider, for medical bills, treatment costs, and other standard costs that are acquired in an auto accident. Colorado had switched to a fault-based system at least three years ago.
Impact of the Change from a No-Fault to a Fault System
According to Colorado attorney Jim Chalat, the automobile liability and no-fault insurance carriers had basically shifted the burden for the medical care to the victim’s health insurance company. Therefore, rather that Colorado’s four largest carriers—Allstate, State Farm, Met Life, or Farmers –take care of the auto accident victim’s medical care and treatment costs despite fault, that burden has moved currently to the health insurance systems like Kaiser, United Health, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or in the situation of most individuals, Medicaid or Medicare.