Up until recently, if you were injured in a car crash, and let's say under this situation, you're looking to your own insurance company to compensate you. Say, for example, you have uninsured motorist coverage and you're hit by somebody who didn't have any insurance coverage and hit you.
Up until recently, it's very likely that you'd submit a bunch of medical records, medical bills, injury to your insurance company and they'd make you an offer, and it would be less than the full amount of the coverage and they'd tell you, "Gosh, you know, we're willing to consider anything else you might have but you need to get us these records and those records, and right now we could offer 60% of your insurance policy, say $60,000, but, you know, that's all we'll give you right now. But hen they say we need to hold off, well, no, we're not going to pay that either. We're just going to hold off until you get us the records."
For years, insurance was allowed to do that, but the laws have changed. Brand new Colorado case law saying that insurance companies in that situation need to determine what part of your injury claim is what they call undisputed, and your insurance has an obligation to pay you the undisputed amount of charges. An insurance company that's looking at $60,000 of no-question-about-it they owe. They can't say, "Well, we're offering you that. You can sign away your rights to any other aspect of the policy if you want that or you can give us these additional extraneous records and maybe we'll consider giving you more." Now, they need to give you that $60,000 right away and say, "By the way, we're prepared to give you more if you can produce more documentation, whatever is the undisputed amount of the claim."
It changes this ability of the insurance company to maintain control of the money and control of you, while you run around in a paper chase to try to get the insurance company what they're asking for. Now you simply say, "Well, if you think this claim right now is worth $60,000, send me that $60,000 and we'll continue to talk about what else you owe." Radically new. It's called the Fisher case, and this could be the most exciting thing in Colorado personal injury law in the last 20 years."
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