Here, we provide general responses to some of the most common questions we receive from clients about auto accidents. To get more specific information about your auto collision in Colorado, you can also contact Travis Legal Offices, LLC to schedule a free consultation. You can do so by filling out our online form or calling (303) 766-8766.
What Types of Auto Accidents Are There in Colorado?
The types of auto accidents are the same pretty much anywhere, and they include single car accidents or collisions between other vehicles, people, property, or animals.
- Single auto accident
- Multi-car accident
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Public transit accidents
- Wildlife-vehicle collisions
- Car accidents involving pets
- Car accidents involving children
How Do I Get Compensation for an Auto Collision in Colorado?
One of the main things that collision victims have to worry about is being fairly compensated for their injuries. There are two main ways that this will generally happen, and each has its own pros and cons.
In an auto accident, resolving a case in a settlement means accepting the amount of money that an insurance company offers. Often, this occurs through a negotiation process. The staff at Travis Legal Offices, LLC are skilled negotiators, particularly on auto collision and insurance dispute claims. Contact us at (303) 766-8766 or by filling out the "contact us" form for more information.
Going to Court
If a victim doesn't receive a fair settlement offer, they may need to file a lawsuit to get their compensation. Lawsuits may result in a higher payout, but they typically take longer, and there is no guarantee of an end result. That being said, Travis Legal Offices, LLC, has years of experience in court cases in Colorado.
After a Car Collision in Colorado, Who Do I Sue?
There are many parties who might be liable for your injuries, and ultimately it will depend on the facts of your specific case. An experienced lawyer will be able to help determine who the best person or people are to seek compensation from.
If the other driver was driving under the influence or failing to obey the rules of the road, they could potentially be held liable. Additionally, a car manufacturer could be held liable if their car malfunctioned, and in some cases, a government entity could even be held liable if the conditions on the road are what causes a crash.
Should I Release Medical Records to Another Driver's Insurance Adjuster?
Generally, it is important to remember that the other insurance adjuster involved in the case wants to pay you as little as possible. While they may ultimately need to see your records, they only need to see specific records pertaining to your accident. If records are not necessary, but the insurance company receives them, they could use any health information against you. An attorney can help manage this request to ensure that only records needed are released.
Further, it is always important to have an attorney with you when you speak to your own insurance company.
If I Don't Feel Hurt after an Auto Accident, Do I Have to See a Doctor?
Certain injuries might not present symptoms immediately after an accident, and getting to a medical professional can catch those injuries. In addition, an opposing attorney or insurance adjuster might try to argue that a delay in seeking medical treatment means that a victim's injuries were not actually from the accident. Going to the doctor after an accident can cut against these kinds of arguments. The main point to remember, is only the people involved in the collision will know what they are feeling. If they have symptoms or injuries, it is best to get those checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Although this is not always realistic and there may be a variety of reasons that a particular person is not able to get into the doctor right away. Each case and client situation is unique.
What Should I Do after an Auto Accident in Colorado?
First and foremost, you should contact emergency services and seek medical attention, if necessary. But you also want to:
- Make sure you and others are out of harms way. If you or others are injured, wait for emergency medical services to arrive on scene to assist you in getting out of your vehicle. If your vehicle is in the middle of the roadway and/or unable to be moved, do not sit in your vehicle waiting for the proper authorities to arrive IF you can safely exit the vehicle. Instead, if possible, make your way to a safe area at the side of the roadway until authorities arrive. Your health and safety are priority number one;
- Call emergency services (911). Whether or not you or another party is injured, make sure to report the collision. By reporting the collision, the details of the event will be formally documented. Frequently, the versions of the facts by involved parties can change in the hours or days following a collision. So it is important to have an investigating officer make notations of the parties' description of the circumstances of the collision in their records;
- Exchange information with other parties. This information exchange includes writing down or getting pictures of drivers license, insurance information, license plate numbers, names and phone numbers of all parties involved. If there are witnesses to the collision, be sure to obtain their contact information. Most people have cell phones these days so be sure to use it at the scene (if you are physically able) to gather information to help your case, as needed, in the future;
- Take pictures of all damage. Take pictures of your vehicle inside and out, all other parties vehicles involved in the collision, the surrounding roadway in which the collision occurred (including skid marks) and any other property that was damaged due to the collision (i.e. trees, signs, fences, etc.);
- File claim(s) with your own insurance company and with the at-fault party's insurance. Many times people are uncertain if they have coverages that would apply in the case of a collision caused by someone else. So it is best to make a call to your insurance carrier to determine if there are coverages that will help you. For instance, Medical Payment coverage is primary coverage for medical expenses arising from a collision (even above health insurance). Though this is an option coverage, if you have this coverage, you have paid a premium for it so it behooves you to use it, if needed. When calling either company (yours or the at-fault party's insurance) be sure to have all of the exchanged information ready (especially first/last names of the involved parties, policy numbers, etc);
- Seek medical treatment. While some people experience pain from their injuries at the scene, commonly people do not realize that they have been injured until the shock and adrenaline of a collision wears off revealing symptoms. It is very important that you follow up with a medical provider (eg. emergency room, urgent care, primary care physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, etc.) as soon as feasible following a collision to document any and all injuries that may be due to the collision. Failure to do so provides the insurance company with an opportunity to argue that your injuries are not related to the subject collision; and
- Contact an attorney. Reaching out to an attorney soon after your collision occurred is the best way to protect yourself and ensure that your claims are properly handled. Statistically, injured parties collect substantially more when represented by counsel. The insurance carrier(s) have staff that are trained to minimize their risk exposure on claims. Trying to handle a claim on your own against the insurance professionals trained to poke holes in claims can be difficult and stressful. The staff at Travis Legal Offices, LLC strives to help you minimize that stress so that you can concentrate on getting well. We are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and the legalities involved with collisions . Let us help you so that you can focus on your medical recovery.
What Should I Not Do After an Auto Accident in Colorado?
In juxtaposition to what you should do if in a car collision, here is what you should not do.
You should never leave the scene of an accident. If you leave a scene, especially when someone is injured, it is a hit and run, a criminal offense. You must stay with your vehicle and contact emergency personnel if someone is injured.
You should not leave your vehicle where it can pose a risk to others. If you can, move the vehicle to a safe location. If you cannot move it on your own, contact someone who can.
You should not ignore calling 911. Even when no one is injured, you should still contact 911. The police will investigate and write a report that can later be used to help identify liability.
Do not forget to exchange information. Try not to let fear or anxiety get the best of you. You really need to obtain contact and insurance information from the other party involved in the collision. Insurance will be critical to recovery of compensation.
Do not underestimate your injuries. Some injuries are delayed (like whiplash) while other injuries may not seem serious (like bruising as there may be internal bleeding). You should get checked out by a doctor.
Do not contact or give a statement or documents to the other party's insurance company. You must speak to your own insurance company, but you are not obligated to do the same with any other insurance company. To do so could jeopardize your case. Either your attorney or your own insurance company can communicate with the other party's auto insurer.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Colorado Today
If you've been in an auto accident and are considering filing a claim, contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Travis Legal Offices, LLC today for a free consultation. We can answer your questions, put together a strong case, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (303) 766-8766 today or fill out our online form today.