Colorado Accident & Injury Law Part II - Change In Med Pay Policies

II. Statutory Change Requiring Offer Of $5,000 Med-Pay In Auto Insurance Policies: C.R.S. 10-4-635. (Effective January 1, 2009) This statute will apply only to accident after January 1, 2009.

  1. (a) Mandates that every auto insurer offer a minimum of $5,000, and the failure to do so will automatically make $5,000 available for med pay.
  2. Provides for priority of payment to first responders.
  3. (a) Specifically provides that an auto insurer shall have neither a claim for subrogation nor a right of direct action to repaid med pay amount paid under an auto insurance policy.
  • Discussion: The statute does not mandate that there be minimal med-pay coverage in every auto policy written in Colorado. It has allowed an easy out for the auto insurer who wishes to de-emphasize med pay. It should be expected that a substantial percentage of auto policies will be written with no med pay coverage by written waiver from the insured. The most impactful provision for the auto injury plaintiff attorney will be in the issue of subrogation and direct actions by auto insurance carriers to recover med-pay from the tortfeasor defendant. For those auto accident cases after January 1, 2009, this statute has removed a source of increasing contention and friction in the auto injury case.

Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.