Earlier this month, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of automobile insurer State Farm, holding that underinsured motorist claims may not be brought against the company because of a statute of limitations. The incident that gave rise to the ruling was a car accident that took place back in 1995.
That car accident at issue was caused by an underinsured motorist who struck a vehicle insured by State Farm with a policy providing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence. The driver of the suit, along with five passengers, all filed separate lawsuits against various parties, including State Farm.
State Farm eventually paid $75,000 in underinsured motorist benefits to the estate, but other legal actions against the company were dismissed in 2007 after the plaintiffs failed to take proper action. In 2008, a related suit was filed, alleging the same claims, but that suit was dismissed because time window for filing the suit had closed.
The details of the legal process require a bit of explaining, but the bottom line is that the suit was eventually decided in favor of State Farm, on the grounds that the plaintiffs missed their statutory opportunity to pursue the claims.
It is critical for anybody contemplating taking legal action following a car accident to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure they are able to take advantage of every opportunity at their disposal. Doing so will ensure that they receive as much compensation as they are able.
Source: Legal Newsline, “Colo. SC upholds ruling in favor of automobile insurer,” Jessica M. Karmasek, March 20, 2013