VanMeveren Law Group - February 2020

Foundations 970

SOUTH 2038 Caribou Drive, Suite 101 Fort Collins, CO 80525

OLD TOWN 123 North College Ave., Suite 112 Fort Collins, CO 80524

FEBRUARY 2020

How Can My Car Insurance Help

IF I’M INJURED WHILE RUNNING OR WALKING?

By the time you read this, I will have completed another New Year’s Eve running challenge to ring in 2020. The latest version of my 24-hour marathon consisted of four runs at 6.55 miles each, with the final leg taking place at the stroke of midnight. Cold weather, daylight saving time, and low-light conditions present a challenge to the dedicated runners and walkers of the world who want to continue their passion through the winter months. HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS TO TAKE WHEN VENTURING OUT FOR A WINTERTIME RUN OR WALK. • Always run or walk against traffic. By facing traffic, you’re in a much better position to react to a distracted driver. • Let family members know when you’re heading out and where you’re going. Share your entire route with them and be as specific as possible. (Google Maps is great for this!) • Try not to wear headphones, but if you do, keep one ear free or keep the volume low enough so you can hear traffic, cyclists, and other runners approaching from behind. • Be visible! Wear reflective clothing and a headlamp after dark. Never wear dark colors unless it’s daylight and/or the ground is covered in snow. • Obey traffic laws and look both ways before crossing, even when you have right of way. By now, you may be asking, “What does running and walking have to do with my car insurance?” Undoubtedly, if you are hit by a car while out running or walking, you can make a claim against the driver’s auto liability insurance carrier. But in many instances, the driver’s liability coverage may be insufficient, or it may be a situation of the driver fleeing the accident scene. • Carry a cellphone and an ID. • Run with a partner or a dog.

In either scenario, you’ll want to contact your car insurance company and open claims under your medical payments coverage and your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). With UIM coverage, if the at-fault driver has little or no coverage — or they flee the scene — the injured runner or walker may be able to make a claim with their own auto insurance to make up the difference. Sadly, we have seen many cases where our client’s damages exceeded the driver’s available insurance limits and they were undercompensated. Even worse, if the driver had no insurance or fled the scene, the victim’s damages went completely uncompensated. How could this happen? Well, unfortunately, many people get bad advice or try to save money by rejecting medical payments coverage — or by rejecting UIM coverage. When this happens, there is no avenue of recovery if the bad driver has no insurance or recoverable assets.

The bottom line is this: Talk to an experienced injury attorney when considering your insurance coverage options. Be informed before the worst happens.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE HIT BY A CAR WHILE RUNNING OR WALKING?

1.

Seek immediate medical attention.

2.

Call the police.

3.

Document and photograph your injuries.

4.

Contact your auto insurance company.

5.

Don’t give statements or sign documents from the driver’s insurance company.

6.

Contact an experienced injury attorney for guidance.

–Bryan VanMeveren

970-495-9741 • 1

www.vanmeverenlaw.com

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