Under the original no fault rule, drivers turned to their own insurance policies to collect compensation after a car accident, regardless who was to blame for the accident. Only once your injuries reached a certain threshold could you make a claim against the at-fault driver. Now, under the at-fault rule, drivers are allowed to file claims against the responsible parties without waiting to reach a threshold. Accident victims in Colorado are allowed to seek compensation in one of three ways after an accident :. Colorado follows the modified comparative negligence legal theory. However, the amount of the damages you are eligible to receive will be reduced by the percentage of your own responsibility for the accident.
No-doubt liability accidents are difficult to argue against and typically result in a quick settlement for the victims.
Street legal side by side insurance
Here are a few other examples:. When a driver breaks basic traffic laws or is texting or impaired in any way, it increases the chances that the driver will be determined liable in the car crash. Depending on the state in which the accident occurred, a few types of negligence may be considered. When law enforcement responds to a car crash, officers typically investigate and interview everyone involved along with any bystanders who witnessed the crash.
ONE: Put someone else on the insurance - no matter what age
Based on their investigation, officers assign a percentage of fault to each party. This percentage, depending on what state the accident occurs in, can determine your ability to recover damages. You may be thinking, how can they tell who is responsible in a car accident? How can you tell who hit who in a car accident?
Each party plays a big role in determining liability in a car accident. Regardless of how minor an accident may appear, failing to exchange insurance and other information is a major mistake. Vital pieces of information include the name of the other driver, his or her home and work addresses, home, work and cell phone numbers, driver license number, name of the insurance company, policy number, license plate number, and make and model of the other vehicle.
In addition to a police report, witnesses to an accident can give an unbiased version of what happened. For this reason, it is very important to seek out witnesses and get their complete contact information full name, home and work addresses, home, work and cell phone numbers, etc. It may be necessary to have them testify during a deposition or at a trial sometime down the road. These days, almost everyone has a cell phone with a camera.
Taking pictures of everything at the accident scene including vehicle damage, vehicle positions, the surrounding area, and any injuries, bruises or scars will help establish your claim. The right photograph can be powerful. It can motivate an insurance company to make a fair settlement offer. It can be the difference between a good settlement and a great one. If a photograph is worth a thousand words, video must be worth a million. The simple point is this: the more you document your case, the better you can prove it.
So, when in doubt, film it! It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Sometimes, after an accident, an individual may be in shock and not realize that he or she has suffered any injury at all. After representing many car accident victims, I can say with reasonable certainty that you will feel worse one, two or three days later than you do immediately after. So, do not assume that just because you do not feel pain right away, you are not injured.
Getting to a doctor as soon as possible is a no-brainer. Missing medical appointments makes it looks as if you are not injured or not feeling any pain because of your accident. You have a better chance of receiving compensation for medical expenses and injuries if you can show that you are serious about getting well. The adjuster might seem friendly and sympathetic , but remember, the adjuster has to answer to his or her bosses at the insurance company, and the bosses are NOT your friends.
Often this call will come at a time when you are still in shock, or are under the influence of medication. This is exactly what the insurance companies want.
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In order to fully protect your rights, you should not give a statement to any insurance company without first consulting an auto accident injury attorney. Likewise, do not accept any check or sign any papers sent to you from an insurance company without first having your lawyer inspect them. Either way, if you negotiate that check, or sign documents stating such, it can and will complicate your claim for injuries later on. Do not share details about the accident with anyone except your insurance agent and your attorney.
Doing so exposes you to potentially saying something that can hurt your case sometime in the future. Again, refusing to make a statement without benefit of an attorney is your best defense against saying something or certifying something in writing that you might later regret doing. Make sure that you have your vehicle inspected by a trustworthy mechanic who can properly document the damage that has been done as a result of the accident, how much it will cost to repair, and what parts may be needed.
They match the parts that came on your car when it rolled off the assembly line. The insurance company is not going to take your word for anything. If you want to recover for the medical bills and lost wages you suffered as a result of an accident, you are going to have to prove every penny you lost. Records should contain the name, address, and telephone number of every medical and treatment provider and the date of your visits. Other information to document includes a log of all mileage driven to and from all accident-related medical appointments; all time missed from work; all expenses or losses incurred as a result of the accident such as costs for medical treatment, medication, medical supplies, a rental car, towing expense, needed assistance around the house, or any other expenses incurred since the time of the collision.
With regard to lost wages , these are normally proven through statements from your employer regarding time off from work, and copies of check stubs. If you are self-employed or work on commission, you will likely need copies of your tax returns for both before and after the injury to prove your claim.
In most places, there is a limited amount of time to pursue a claim after an accident. For example, under Louisiana law, you only have one year to file suit after a wreck. Closed-head injuries and other potentially life-threatening injuries are not always evident right away. It is much easier to remember important details right after your accident, but as time goes on, it becomes harder and harder to do that. A common example is capturing what the other driver may have said at the scene. If you can write down exactly what was said and everything that took place at the scene of the crash, it can make a big difference in your case.
You should also write down how the accident happened. The weakest ink is stronger that the greatest memory. For example, write down the length of time you waited at the intersection before being struck, or the approximate distance from the other vehicle you were when you saw him emerge from the driveway on your right and into your path. Your goal should be to keep a comprehensive diary of your physical and mental suffering. It may be months or even years before you will need to provide details about how your injuries have impacted your life, so a thorough written record is incredibly important.
The best thing you can possibly do in this situation is to keep up with your diary each day to record your physical and mental suffering. Photographic evidence of the vehicle damages and your physical injuries can provide powerful materials to present in your case. Document your rehabilitation process with frequent photos, keep them organized by date, and keep them safe for future use. For example, photos of you in a hospital bed and or in your orthopedic boot or neck brace can be valuable pieces of evidence when determining the severity of your injury.
You should report the accident to your insurance company, but do not discuss your thoughts about the incident with them.
Clark & Steinhorn, LLC
At this stage, it is also a good idea to opt out of providing any sort of recorded statement about the accident. Without trusted legal advice, it is often difficult to know what kinds of information or statements might be decisive evidence in a car crash case. The CDC reports that each day in the U. Over the course of the year, those distracted drivers account for around 17 percent of all traffic injuries. At the Law Office of David E. Gordon, you will get one-on-one attention from Attorney Gordon, and we will start work on your case right away. Our first priority is to determine what caused the traffic accident that injured you.
Our team will carefully investigate different factors, such as:.
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